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Patricia Highsmith

Specialising in dark prose and psychological thrillers, Patricia Highsmith was born on 19 January, 1921 in Fort Worth , Texas. Many of her works including The Two Faces of January, The Talented Mr. Ripley and The Price of Salt (later republished as Carol) have been adapted into major films.

Patricia graduated from Barnard College in 1942 and published several short stories in magazines before publishing her first novel, Strangers on a Train (later adapted into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock). Patricia’s most famous character remains Tom Ripley and she died on 4 February, 1995.


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Patricia Highsmith Books

  • Strangers on a Train

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: ATYOB
    Paperback
    The psychologists would call it folie a deux...'Bruno slammed his palms together.' "Hey! Cheeses, what an idea! I kill your wife and you kill my father! We meet on a train, see, and nobody knows we know each other! Perfect alibis! Catch?" From this moment, almost against his conscious will, Guy Haines is trapped in a nightmare of shared guilt and an insidious merging of personalities.
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  • Deep Water

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: BPNXO
    Paperback
    'If I really don't like somebody, I kill him . . . You remember Malcolm McRae, don't you?' Melinda Van Allen is beautiful, headstrong and sexy. Unfortunately for Vic Van Allen, she is his wife. Their love has soured, and Melinda takes pleasure in flaunting her many affairs to her husband. When one of her lovers is murdered, Vic hints to her latest conquest that he was responsible. As rumours spread about Vic's vicious streak, fiction and reality start to converge. It's only a matter of time before Vic really does have blood on his hands. Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; Faces in the Water by Janet Frame
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  • Carol

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: BFYRS
    Paperback
    WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY VAL McDERMID Therese is just an ordinary sales assistant working in a New York department store when a beautiful, alluring woman in her thirties walks up to her counter. Standing there, Therese is wholly unprepared for the first shock of love. Therese is an awkward nineteen-year-old with a job she hates and a boyfriend she doesn't love; Carol is a sophisticated, bored suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce and a custody battle for her only daughter. As Therese becomes irresistibly drawn into Carol's world, she soon realizes how much they both stand to lose...First published pseudonymously in 1952 as The Price of Salt, Carol is a hauntingly atmospheric love story set against the backdrop of fifties' New York.
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  • Carol

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: BFVLQ
    Paperback
    WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY VAL McDERMID Therese is just an ordinary sales assistant working in a New York department store when a beautiful, alluring woman in her thirties walks up to her counter. Standing there, Therese is wholly unprepared for the first shock of love. Therese is an awkward nineteen-year-old with a job she hates and a boyfriend she doesn't love; Carol is a sophisticated, bored suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce and a custody battle for her only daughter. As Therese becomes irresistibly drawn into Carol's world, she soon realizes how much they both stand to lose...First published pseudonymously in 1952 as The Price of Salt, Carol is a hauntingly atmospheric love story set against the backdrop of fifties' New York.
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  • Talented Mr Ripley Mug

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: AZJUA
    Other
    Using the cover artwork of our much-loved Virago Modern Classics hardback range, this elegant porcelain mug celebrates The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.
    It is presented in a beautiful gift box with corresponding artwork. and is dishwasher- and microwave-safe.
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  • Strangers on a Train

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: AUWFZ
    Hardback
    The psychologists would call it folie a deux ...'Bruno slammed his palms together. "Hey! Cheeses, what an idea! I kill your wife and you kill my father! We meet on a train, see, and nobody knows we know each other! Perfect alibis! Catch?" From this moment, almost against his conscious will, Guy Haines is trapped in a nightmare of shared guilt and an insidious merging of personalities. 'The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer' The Times
    • £14.89
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  • Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: AUFLB
    Paperback
    Named by The Times as the all-time number one crime writer, Patricia Highsmith was an author who broke new ground and defied genre cliches with novels such as The Talented Mr Ripley and Strangers on a Train. In the classic creative writing guide Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction, Highsmith reveals her secrets for producing world-class crime and thrillers, from imaginative tips for generating ideas to useful ways of turning them into stunning stories.
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  • People Who Knock on the Door

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: AUDBZ
    Paperback
    In a pitiless story of prying suburban self-righteousness, Patricia Highsmith introduces the Alderman family as they descend into moral crisis. When small-town insurance salesman Richard Alderman becomes a born-again Christian, his once tight-knit family quickly begins to rip apart at the seams. He and his youngest son, Robbie, embrace their newfound faith, while his elder son Arthur rejects it. Caught in the middle of the ensuing web of lies, his wife, Lois, tries to keep the family together, but when the church elders start to interfere in Arthur's love life, events spiral toward violence. In this masterful late work, Highsmith weaves a powerful tale about blind faith and the peculiar ideas of justice that lie underneath the veneer of respectability.
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  • This Sweet Sickness

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: AUDBY
    Paperback
    David Kelsey has an invincible conviction that life is going to work out just as he has planned it - if he can just fix 'the situation'. His one true love, the brilliant, beautiful Annabelle, has married another man. But that doesn't mean they can't still be friends. And even though she is pregnant with her husband Gerald's baby, that surely doesn't mean she won't one day get back together with David. She still loves him, of that he is certain. David is sure she'll take him back, and, under an alias, is setting up a wonderful home for the two of them in a town close by. And everything is just about going to plan until things take a murderous turn, leaving David a desperate man on the run.
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  • The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley's Game

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: AUBQR
    Hardback
    Three classic crime novels by a master of the macabre - The Talented Mr Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, and Ripley's Game - appear here together in hardcover for the first time. Suave, agreeable, and completely amoral, Patricia Highsmith's hero, the inimitable Tom Ripley, stops at nothing - not even murder - to accomplish his goals. In achieving the opulent life that he was denied as a child, Ripley shows himself to be a master of illusion and manipulation and a disturbingly sympathetic combination of genius and psychopath. Sent on a mission to Italy to coax an irresponsible young playboy back to his wealthy father in America, Ripley finds himself so fond of the young man that he sets out to be like him - exactly like him. The precarious charade that ensues is the first step to a life of elegance and ease - and perpetual danger. As she leads us through the mesmerizing tangle of Ripley's deadly and sinister games, Highsmith turns the mystery genre inside out and takes us into the mind of a man utterly indifferent to evil.
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  • Ripley's Game

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: AUAQE
    Paperback
    Tom Ripley detested murder. Unless it was absolutely necessary. Wherever possible, he preferred someone else to do the dirty work. In this case someone with no criminal record, who would commit 'two simple murders' for a very generous fee.
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  • The Cry of the Owl

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: AUAKN
    Paperback
    Robert Forester didn't look like the kind of man to be a prowler. His ex-wife had told the police he was erratic, liable to violence, had evenfired a gun at her. Maybe he was psychopathic murderer...
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  • The Two Faces of January

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: ATXNK
    Paperback
    Two men meet in the picturesque backstreets of Athens. Chester MacFarlane is a conman with multiple false identities, near the end of his rope and on the run with his young wife Colette. Rydal Keener is a young drifter looking for adventure: he finds it in one evening as the law catches up to Chester and Colette, and their fates become fatally entwined. Patricia Highsmith draws us deep into a cross-European game of cat and mouse in this masterpiece of suspense from the author of The Talented Mr Ripley.
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  • Ripley Under Water

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: ATXBM
    Paperback
    Tom Ripley is quietly living a life of luxury at his chateau at Villeperce, and, as ever, is keeping one step ahead of the law - he has, after all, a past that would not bear too much close scrutiny...The fifth novel featuring the protagonist Tom Ripley finds the sophisticated and amoral American expatriate being harassed by David Pritchard, a fellow American whose boorishness marks him as something of Ripley's alter-ego. Inexplicably familiar with all the incriminating details of Ripley's past, Pritchard is determined to expose him. He shadows Ripley's every move, first spying on him at home in France and then following him to Morocco. Tensions build on the return to Villeperce as Pritchard sets out to locate a body Ripley would prefer remain hidden in a nearby river.
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  • A Dog's Ransom

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: AQSMH
    Paperback
    'Dear Sir, I suppose you are pretty pleased with yourself? Superior to everyone, you think. A fancy apartment and a snob dog. You are a disgusting little machine, nothing else. Your days are numbered.' Ed Reynolds, an editor at a prestigious publishing house, has received a number of anonymous poison pen letters. He has no idea who could bear him such a grudge. Returning home one night, he finds a ransom note for his wife's beloved French poodle: 'I have your dog Lisa. She is well and happy ...I gather the dog is important to you? We'll see!' The criminal has hit the Manhattan couple where it hurts most. And so, with this bizarre event, their nightmare begins. A Dog's Ransom captures the fragility of middle-class life in this riveting, scathing tale.
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  • A Game for the Living

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: AQSMG
    Paperback
    'Ramon had done it. Obviously! He thought about Ramon, his Catholic soul trapped in his passion for Lelia. He'd find Ramon and see that he paid with his life for what he had done.' Mild-mannered Theo is a wealthy German expatriate; hot-tempered Ramon was born into poverty in Mexico City. The two men are unlikely friends - especially as they are in love with the same woman. When Lelia is found brutally murdered, both lovers are suspects - and each suspects the other. But then they discover that a thief was seen at Lelia's apartment, and their hunt leads them on a frantic chase to sun-drenched Acapulco. Theo begins to get the uneasy feeling that his every move is being watched.
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  • Found in the Street

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: AQSMF
    Paperback
    Elsie Tyler's beauty is dangerous. A twenty-year old waitress and model, full of charm and vitality, Elsie is a woman who features in the fantasies of many men, especially Ralph, an aging security guard, and Jack, an aspiring young artist. For Ralph, Elsie is an innocent in New York, who he must protect; for Jack, she is his dream woman. For both men she becomes an obsession.
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  • Carol

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: AQHFK
    Paperback
    WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY VAL McDERMID Therese is just an ordinary sales assistant working in a New York department store when a beautiful, alluring woman in her thirties walks up to her counter. Standing there, Therese is wholly unprepared for the first shock of love. Therese is an awkward nineteen-year-old with a job she hates and a boyfriend she doesn't love; Carol is a sophisticated, bored suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce and a custody battle for her only daughter. As Therese becomes irresistibly drawn into Carol's world, she soon realizes how much they both stand to lose...First published pseudonymously in 1952 as The Price of Salt, Carol is a hauntingly atmospheric love story set against the backdrop of fifties' New York.
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  • The Boy Who Followed Ripley

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: ANMZZ
    Paperback
    When a troubled young runaway arrives on Tom Ripley's French estate, he is drawn into a world he thought he'd left behind: the seedy underworld of Berlin, involving kidnapping plots, lies and deception. Ripley becomes the boy's protector as friendship develops between the young man with a guilty conscience and the older one with no conscience at all. The Boy Who Followed Ripley is followed by Ripley Under Water.
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  • The Blunderer

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: ANIKF
    Paperback
    The Blunderer was written by Highsmith in between Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr Ripley. The novel follows the young, successful and handsome, Walter Stackhouse who seems to have it all, that is, until the day his wife's body is found at the bottom of a cliff. Under the intense scrutiny of the investigation he commits one mistake, then another, until - in true Highsmithian fashion - Walter finds his perfect life derailed. Now Walter is running from the obsessions of the murderer, and the suspicions of the lead cop, not to mention his own increasingly life-threatening blunders.
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  • Deep Water

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: ANIAO
    Paperback
    'If I really don't like somebody, I kill him ...You remember Malcolm McRae, don't you?' Melinda Van Allen is beautiful, headstrong and sexy. Unfortunately for Vic Van Allen, she is his wife. Their love has soured, and Melinda takes pleasure in flaunting her many affairs to her husband. When one of her lovers is murdered, Vic hints to her latest conquest that he was responsible. As rumours spread about Vic's vicious streak, fiction and reality start to converge. It's only a matter of time before Vic really does have blood on his hands.
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  • The Tremor of Forgery

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: ANHQW
    Paperback
    Howard Ingham finds it strange that no one has written to him since he arrived in Tunisia - neither the film director that he is supposed to be meeting in Tunis, nor his lover in New York who is, he hopes, missing him. While he waits around at a beach resort, unable to progress on the film script he is there to write, he starts work on a new novel, about a man living an amoral double life. Howard also befriends a fellow American who has a taste for Scotch and a suspicious interest in the Soviet Union, and a Dane who appears to distrust Arabs intensely. When bad news finally arrives from home, Howard thinks he may as well stay and continue writing, despite the tremors in the air of violence, tensions and ambiguous morals.
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  • Little Tales of Misogyny

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: AMDLX
    Paperback
    Little Tales of Misogyny is Highsmith's legendary, cultish short-story collection. With an eerie simplicity of style, Highsmith turns our next-door neighbours into sadistic psychopaths, lying in wait among white picket fences and manicured lawns. In these darkly satirical, often hilarious, sketches you'll meet seemingly familiar women with the power to destroy both themselves and the men around them. 'The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer' The Times
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  • A Suspension of Mercy

    Patricia Highsmith

    Product Code: ALRBU
    Paperback
    Sydney Bartleby has killed his wife. At least, he has thought about it, compulsively, repeatedly, plotting schemes, designing escapes, forging alibis. Of course he has; he's a thriller writer. He even knows how to dispose of her body. But when Alicia takes a long, unannounced holiday, Sydney descends into the treacherous world of his own fantasy.
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