Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ripley Under Ground

The second installment of Patricia Highsmith's Ripliad, Ripley Under Ground follows Tom Ripley's life a few years after the events in The Talented Mr. Ripley.  Tom is now married to heiress Heloise and together they live a life of leisure in a country home in France.  Ripley's boredom with the everyday leads him to more shenanigans, however, as he get involved in a painting forgery ring.  As the ring starts to fall apart, Tom uses all the tools at his disposal to deflect suspicion, including murder.  In the end, Tom seemingly clears everything up, but he still suspects he missed something and will be visited by the police again, this time with new evidence.

I did not enjoy this novel as much as the previous one. The plot was fairly convoluted, with too many people involved to believe that Ripley could get away with everything he does.  I also did not connect with Tom like I did in the original. Somehow he did not have quite the same charm and appeal.  That is not to say I did not like this book; on the contrary, I just thought it could have been better.  It is my understanding, though, that the third book in the series, Ripley's Game, is quite good, so I will start that next.

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