Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Boy Who Followed Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith

(pb; 1980: fourth novel in the Ripley series)


Highsmith's sly wit is in evidence in the fourth Ripley novel, the follow-up to Ripley's Game. However, that cool wit is warmed by Ripley's increasing humanity (as compared to his attitude in earlier books): now he's an avuncular figure, giving emotional succor, shelter, and protection to a sixteen-year old boy (Billy Rollins, aka Frank Pierson) who reminds Ripley of himself -- up to a point.

When the boy is kidnapped in Berlin, Ripley goes to some drastic -- and oftentimes dryly hilarious -- measures to get the boy back from the kidnappers. Reeves Minot, Ripley's friend and partner-in-crime, also make another appearance -- his third (he first appeared in Ripley Under Ground), also, adding to the dark charm of Ripley's ongoing story.

Excellent read, despite becoming chatty near the end. Check it out.

Followed by Ripley Under Water.

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