Published by W. W. Norton & Company Pages: 256
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The world of Patricia Highsmith has always been filled with ordinary people, all of whom are capable of very ordinary crimes. This theme was present from the beginning, when her debut novel, Strangers on a Train, galvanized the reading public. Here we encounter Guy Haines and Charles Anthony Bruno, passengers on the same train. But while Guy is a successful architect in the midst of a divorce, Bruno turns out to be a sadistic psychopath who manipulates Guy into swapping murders with him. “Some people are better off dead,” Bruno remarks, “like your wife and my father, for instance.” As Bruno carries out his twisted plan, Guy is trapped in Highsmith’s perilous world, where, under the right circumstances, anybody is capable of murder.
The inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1951 film, Strangers on a Train launched Highsmith on a prolific career of noir fiction, proving her a master at depicting the unsettling forces that tremble beneath the surface of everyday contemporary life.
Here is what I thought
I got curious about this one after a reference to it on a Hallmark Christmas movie! Then I seen a new YA book coming out that has the same premise, and it’s been done on a few police series I have seen so I thought it’s about time I give it a try.
It’s kind of a twisted story and by the end I really wasn’t sure about either guy in this story. Two guys meet on a train, they don’t know each other. Charles is a bit of a psychopath but poor Guy doesn’t know that and when they talk about some things Guy brings up the fact that he is in the midst of a horrible marriage and wants out and Charles wants to get rid of his father.
They talk about things and Charles thinks it would be great if they just got rid of them and swap. Guy doesn’t think anything of it until he gets a call that his wife has been killed. Then he starts getting calls from Charles about how it’s Guys turn. Guy ignores him and goes on with his life, he has a lady Ann he had been seeing and continues to see, etc. The only thing is Charles isn’t going to go away and he knows things that could get Guy in trouble. It would be easy to just tell Ann things. A lot of things happen in between back in forth in between the two guys that by the end I really am not sure who is crazy and who is not. It was a really weird story but interesting.
Overall I am glad I read it but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I had hoped but as I said before it was interesting.