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Deep Water Paperback – July 17, 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. "
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"
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Top Customer Reviews
This being a Patricia Highsmith novel, it cannot be a good thing for our put-upon protagonist to confess to a murder he did not commit, and the reader begins at once to wonder how this misstep of Victor's will lead to his undoing. But it is unlikely that readers will correctly anticipate precisely how Victor's story plays itself out.
Patricia Highsmith--the author of, among many other novels, Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mister Ripley--is a master of suspense. Deep Water shares with her other books a certain remarkable slowness. Highsmith's characters unhurriedly attend to the minutiae of their lives.Read more ›
The set-up is that Vic and Melinda are unhappily married, but rather than divorce, since they have a daughter, he lets her go off and have affairs (this seems quite an interesting concept to have proposed in 1957, when this book came out) -- and you'd think that surely, a little jealousy might come in on his part, right? Right. . . . And from here, it goes off in some interesting directions. I really didn't expect the ending. And now that it's finally available, go ahead and get it! You're missing a great novel otherwise.
Vic, the typically Highsmithian hero, is almost too good to be true, as a father, as a friend, as a neigbour, as an employer, as a professional. And then of course he isn't all that good. We might have guessed.
We have a hard time understanding his patience with his wife. We never quite understand how he can play along for years.
The plot starter is quite original: Vic's wife is outrageously unfaithful, but he is not yet known to be in the least jealous; surprisingly, he starts a rumour that he killed a former lover of his wife's. This is for a time quite effective in scaring away new suitors. Then, in a way unfortunately, the real killer gets caught. Vic has lost some of his status in the neighbourhood, and then he crosses the step from fantasy to reality. In order to rebuild the mystery surrounding him?
One wishes him well, hopes he will get away with it. That is the main driver of considerable suspense in this masterpiece.
One of her best.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent read and wonderfully crafted story by Highsmith. Thoroughly enjoyed it, although the disturbing parts can feel extremely uncomfortable.Published 27 days ago by Former Grad Student
Much to love about this tale - I wanted to give it 4-stars but had to give up the fifth. Let's settle on 4. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jessica
Could not put it down - completely engrossing and satisfying study of sociopathic character operating in an oblivious society in which he is admired and respectedPublished 6 months ago by Pamela Vlastas
Trixie, the protagonist's precocious eight-year-old daughter, is the only wholesome character in the eerie Van Allen family. Read morePublished 7 months ago by P. Stanley
A really corker of a story. It's not really a mystery although it falls in the category, and has a lot of tension that slowly builds and builds.. It's more like a character study. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Lawrence Lachmann
This is far from Highsmith at her best. It is a rather ugly and slow slog, featuring two humdrum characters, the husband a serial revenge killer, the wife, a serial slut. Read morePublished 9 months ago by LSteel
Its too long. I get how Highsmith wanted to make a case that Melinda is evil and Vic is a nice guy, but its 125 pages too much of the same stuff. Read morePublished 10 months ago by James B. Johnson
This is the third novel I've ready by Highsmith: "Edith's Diary" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley" are the other two. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Julia H. Nicholson