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Ripley sequel by Queen of Crime,
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This review is from: The Boy Who Followed Ripley (Paperback)
There is no doubt in my mind that the greatest force as a crime author is Patricia Highsmith.
For me she is the single most capable constructor of believable characters.
From the outset the central character Ripley fascinates and enlists our support.
We seem to be drawn to want the dark side of our nature to prevail, and Ripley isn't even that dark. His actions appear more instinctive than premeditated.
In this part of the ongoing Derwatt conspiracy, a young man accidentally falls into Ripley's life and their futures appear tied together in some way. The boy is young 16, an american who has left home after a family loss. The parallels with Ripleys early life gradually emerge and one wonders how close these two protagonists will become.
Another side of Ripley's personality is explored and he transposes into mentor role. He willingly gives up time to look after the lads interests.
In their adventures in Berlin are reflected some of the authors yearning for adventure -to my eye -which seems to serve to endear the reprehensible Ripley still further to the reader.
I liked some of the minor characters too. The enigmatic german Eric, the mysterious yet well connected (with the underworld) Reeves, and the Eastern German Peter, all add up to a classic cocktail of heritage thriller writing and yet - not much happens.
The travelling is well described and the geography seems to be first hand knowledge. What I get very strongly from this book is the propensity from the writer to engage in acting, and if she did I am sure she would prove as capable as she is a writer. The book did not carry me along at the same pace as the earlier Ripleys, but if you like Highsmith and are drawn to her depth and charm then to read this book will give you more insights and. in my case, even more of a wish to have known her while she was alive.