The Black House


By Patricia Highsmith

cover image of The Black House

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"A border zone of the macabre, the disturbing, the not-quite accidental." —John Gross, New York Times Book Review

Horrific tragedy becomes disturbingly ordinary in The Black House, a masterful collection of short stories, written during a particularly dark time in Patricia Highsmith's life. As readers will discover, the work eerily evokes the warm familiarities of suburban life: the manicured lawns, the white picket fences, and the local pubs, each providing the backbone for her chilling portraits. Seemingly small indiscretions and infidelities—along with love affairs and murder—consume the characters that commit them. Cycles of destructive jealousy overwhelm the cheating protagonists of "Blow It" and "When in Rome," and the title story explores small-town male camaraderie and the destructive secret it masks. This enthralling collection of eleven stories presents Highsmith at her finest: melancholy, suspenseful, and sizzling with a powerful awareness of human emotion.

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The Black House