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Deep Water Paperback – 17 Jul 2003
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"An atmosphere of nameless dread, of unspeakable foreboding, permeates every page of Patricia Highsmith, and there's nothing quite like it."
An atmosphere of nameless dread, of unspeakable foreboding, permeates every page of Patricia Highsmith, and there's nothing quite like it. "
The things that are suspenseful, that I find frightening, aren't someone jumping out of a closet or those kind of big scares, but instead that slow build of dread, and [Highsmith] does that really well. She kind of takes you by the hand and walks you toward the cliff. --Gillian Flynn"
Highsmith is crime fiction's most lethal existentialist...[She] simultaneously makes the subconscious smile and the skin crawl.--Ed Siegel
So good and utterly addictive.--Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me
To everyone around them, Melinda and Vic Van Allen are the perfect couple - young, wealthy and attractive. But when their love sours, their mind games reach a twisted, dangerous climax. Published as part of a beautifully designed series to mark the 40th anniversary of the Virago Modern Classics. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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This is a precise, almost clinical tale of the deconstruction of a marriage and the feelings that lurk under the outwardly calm exterior of Vic who finds the sexual cominglings of snails more absorbing than relations with his adulterous wife.
Highsmith is the mistress of claustrophobic dread. Slowly, inevitably the novel builds to its climax with a few twists along the way. Highly recommended
The classic Highsmith ingredients are there: the finely observed, almost mundane domestic setting (which feels like a social history of 1950s US middle class life); the matter of fact, and therefore profoundly shocking way her killer switches between domestic routine, murder and back again; the stupidity/complicity of small town neighbours, and so on. The final few chapters also provide some fine moments of suspense: we know something's going to happen, we know where it's going to happen, we know who it's going to happen to, but we don't know exactly how it is going to unfold.
So get this one, and then move on to 'Cry of the Owl', 'The Blunderer' and 'Edith's Diary'.
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