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With its sinister humor and genius plotting, Ripley's Game is an enduring portrait of a compulsive, sociopathic American antihero.
Living on his posh French estate with his elegant heiress wife, Tom Ripley, on the cusp of middle age, is no longer the striving comer of The Talented Mr. Ripley. Having accrued considerable wealth through a long career of crime—forgery, extortion, serial murder—Ripley still finds his appetite unquenched and longs to get back in the game.
In Ripley's Game, first published in 1974, Patricia Highsmith's classic chameleon relishes the opportunity to simultaneously repay an insult and help a friend commit a crime—and escape the doldrums of his idyllic retirement. This third novel in Highsmith's series is one of her most psychologically nuanced—particularly memorable for its dark, absurd humor—and was hailed by critics for its ability to manipulate the tropes of the genre. With the creation of Ripley, one of literature's most seductive sociopaths, Highsmith anticipated the likes of Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter years before their appearance.