Patricia Highsmith - A Dog's Ransom - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349004907
    • Publication date:21 Jan 2016
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A Dog's Ransom

A Virago Modern Classic

By Patricia Highsmith

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

Highsmith blends savage humour with brilliant social satire in this dark tale.

'Highsmith is a giant of the genre. The original, the best, the gloriously twisted Queen of Suspense' Mark Billingham

'Dear Sir, I suppose you are pretty pleased with yourself? Superior to everyone, you think. A fancy apartment and a snob dog. You are a disgusting little machine, nothing else. Your days are numbered.'

Ed Reynolds, an editor at a prestigious publishing house, has received a number of anonymous poison pen letters. He has no idea who could bear him such a grudge. Returning home one night, he finds a ransom note for his wife's beloved French poodle: 'I have your dog Lisa. She is well and happy . . . I gather the dog is important to you? We'll see!'

The criminal has hit the Manhattan couple where it hurts most. And so, with this bizarre event, their nightmare begins. A Dog's Ransom captures the fragility of middle-class life in this riveting, scathing tale.

Biographical Notes

Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was made into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. The Talented Mr Ripley, published in 1955, introduced the fascinating anti-hero Tom Ripley, and was made into an Oscar-winning film in 1999 by Anthony Minghella. Graham Greene called Patricia Highsmith 'the poet of apprehension', saying that she 'created a world of her own - a world claustrophobic and irrational which we enter each time with a sense of personal danger'. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland, in February 1995. Her last novel, Small g: A Summer Idyll, was published posthumously, the same year.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349004891
  • Publication date: 21 Jan 2016
  • Page count: 304
  • Imprint: Virago
I love Highsmith so much . . . What a revelation her writing is — Gillian Flynn
No one has created psychological suspense more deliciously satisfying — Vogue
Highsmith is a giant of the genre. The original, the best, the gloriously twisted Queen of Suspense — Mark Billingham
The no.1 greatest crime writer — The Times
Virago

Strangers on a Train

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

The classic thriller behind the Hitchcock film, and Highsmith's first novel - soon to be remade by David Fincher, director of Gone Girl, with a screenplay by Gillian Flynn.The psychologists would call it folie a deux . . .'Bruno slammed his palms together. "Hey! Cheeses, what an idea! I kill your wife and you kill my father! We meet on a train, see, and nobody knows we know each other! Perfect alibis! Catch?'''From this moment, almost against his conscious will, Guy Haines is trapped in a nightmare of shared guilt and an insidious merging of personalities.'The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer' The Times

Sphere

Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Named by The Times as the all-time number one crime writer, Patricia Highsmith was an author who broke new ground and defied genre clichés with novels such as The Talented Mr Ripley and Strangers on a Train.In the classic creative writing guide Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction, Highsmith reveals her secrets for producing world-class crime and thrillers, from imaginative tips for generating ideas to useful ways of turning them into stunning stories.

Virago

The Two Faces of January

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

This Sweet Sickness

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

People Who Knock on the Door

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

Small g: A Summer Idyll

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Completed just months before Patricia Highsmith's death in 1995, Small g explores the labyrinthine intricacies of passion, sexuality, and jealousy in a charming tale of love misdirected.'What is most remarkable in this novel is the empathy . . . with which Highsmith writes about gay men . . . one can imagine the small g existing, a piquant mixture of bohemianism and respectability, exactly as Highsmith describes it' Francis King, SpectatorAt the 'small g', a Zurich bar known for its not exclusively gay clientele, the lives of a small community are played out one summer.Rickie Markwalder is a designer whose lover Petey was brutally murdered. Rickie and his performing dog Lulu are regulars at the bar, as are vindictive Renate, a seamstress, and her teenage apprentice Luisa. Into their lives comes Teddie, impressionable and beautiful, and a catalyst for the series of events that will change everything.Patricia Highsmith's final novel is an intricate exploration of love and sexuality, the depths of spite and the triumph of human kindness. It is a work that, in the tradition of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, shows us how bizarre and unpredictable love can be. Small g, in the words of her biographer Andrew Wilson, is an 'extended fairy tale suggesting that...happiness is precarious and...romance should be embraced.'

Virago

Found in the Street

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'Uncomfortable, frightening, compulsive and, worst of all, terribly believable. It's vintage Highsmith' Time OutOn a stroll through Greenwich Village, security guard Ralph Linderman finds a wallet on the sidewalk. It belongs to Jack Sutherland, a wealthy aspiring artist, and it is his misfortune to have it returned to him - with all $263 and credit cards untouched. Because now Ralph knows where Jack lives.Elsie Tyler is a beautiful young waitress - an innocent in New York - and Ralph feels he must protect her from 'bad company'. When he sees Elsie leaving Jack's apartment, he is not pleased. Not pleased at all.By the author of The Talented Mr Ripley, Found in the Street is an unsettling thriller that explores the bleakest alleyways of human desire.

Virago

A Game for the Living

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

The Boy Who Followed Ripley

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

Deep Water

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Contains an interview with Gillian Flynn.To everyone around them, Melinda and Vic Van Allen are the perfect couple - young, wealthy and attractive. But when their love sours, their mind games reach a twisted, dangerous climax.'If I really don't like somebody, I kill him . . . You remember Malcolm McRae, don't you?'Melinda Van Allen is beautiful, headstrong and sexy. Unfortunately for Vic Van Allen, she is his wife. Their love has soured, and Melinda takes pleasure in flaunting her many affairs to her husband. When one of her lovers is murdered, Vic hints to her latest conquest that he was responsible. As rumours spread about Vic's vicious streak, fiction and reality start to converge. It's only a matter of time before Vic really does have blood on his hands.

Virago

The Tremor of Forgery

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

The Blunderer

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'My suspicion is that when the dust has settled and when the chronicle of 20th-century American literature comes to be written, history will place Highsmith at the top of the pyramid, as we should place Dostoevsky at the top of the Russian hierarchy of novelists' A. N. Wilson, Daily TelegraphThe Blunderer was written by Highsmith in between Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr Ripley. The novel follows the young, successful and handsome, Walter Stackhouse who seems to have it all, that is, until the day his wife's body is found at the bottom of a cliff. Under the intense scrutiny of the investigation he commits one mistake, then another, until - in true Highsmithian fashion - Walter finds his perfect life derailed. Now Walter is running from the obsessions of the murderer, and the suspicions of the lead cop, not to mention his own increasingly life-threatening blunders.

Virago

Edith's Diary

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'Edith's fall takes the form of a psychological chiller, but there is also something larger, the poignancy of her struggle not to go under. She is betrayed by such ordinary dreams' New York TimesEdith Howland's diary is her most precious possession, and as she is moving house she is making sure it's safe. A suburban housewife in fifties America, she is moving to Brunswick with her husband Brett and her beloved son, Cliffie, to start a new life for them all. She is optimistic, but most of all she has high hopes for her new venture with Brett, a local newspaper, the Brunswick Corner Bugle. Life seems full of promise, and indeed, to read her diary, filled with her most intimate feelings and revelations, you would never think otherwise. Strange, then, that reality is so dangerously different . . .

Virago

Little Tales of Misogyny

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'These little tales are tremendous fun, glorious hand grenades lobbed at the reader by a gleeful, cackling Patricia Highsmith' Dan Rhodes Little Tales of Misogyny is Highsmith's legendary, cultish short-story collection. With an eerie simplicity of style, Highsmith turns our next-door neighbours into sadistic psychopaths, lying in wait among white picket fences and manicured lawns. In these darkly satirical, often hilarious, sketches you'll meet seemingly familiar women with the power to destroy both themselves and the men around them. 'The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer' The Times

Virago

A Suspension of Mercy

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'Highsmith's novels are peerlessly disturbing . . . bad dreams that keep us thrashing for the rest of the night' New YorkerSydney Bartleby has killed his wife. At least, he has thought about it, compulsively, repeatedly, plotting schemes, designing escapes, forging alibis. Of course he has; he's a thriller writer. He even knows how to dispose of her body. But when Alicia takes a long, unannounced holiday, Sydney descends into the treacherous world of his own fantasy.A masterpiece of noir fantasy in which Highsmith revels in eliciting the unsettling psychological forces that lurk beneath the surface of everyday life.

Virago

Those Who Walk Away

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

The Glass Cell

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'The Glass Cell has lost little of its disturbing power . . . Highsmith was a genuine one-off, and her books will haunt you' Daily TelegraphPhilip Carter has spent six years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. On his release his beautiful wife is waiting for him. He has never had any reason to doubt her. Nor their friend, Sullivan. Carter has never been suspicious, or violent. But prison can change a man.In 1961, Patricia Highsmith received a fan letter from a prison inmate. A correspondence ensued and Highsmith became fascinated with the psychological traumas that incarceration can inflict.

Virago

Nothing that Meets the Eye

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'These tales should not be glanced at by those with even the slightest history of poor mental health . . . Highsmith's dark humour oozes through this new collection like a particularly delicious poison' Andrew Wilson, Independent on SundayThis volume of stories spans almost fifty years of Highsmith's career, allowing us to see how she evolved from a struggling freelance writer in New York to one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. The stories assembled in Nothing That Meets the Eye, written between 1938 and 1982, are vintage Highsmith: a gigolo-like psychopath preys on unfulfilled career women; a lonely spinster's fragile hold on reality is tethered to the bottle; an estranged postal worker invents homicidal fantasies about his coworkers. While some stories anticipate the diabolical narratives of the Ripley novels, others possess a sweetness that forces us to see the author in a new light.These are suspenseful, playful, taut and psychologically gripping stories, evidence of an extraordinary talent.

Virago

The Animal Lover's Book of Beastly Murder

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith