Just Read: “Deep Water” by Patricia Highsmith

Read May 30, 2020 – June 2, 2020

This isn’t the first novel by Patricia Highsmith that I’ve read and if you’re into her, or the American Modernist authors, you’ll enjoy this narrative that will soon be adapted to the big screen. The film is currently set to release in November of this year! I’m not going to sit here and lie to you… I was searching for books that will soon be movies when I came across the title, and there were tons – as there always is, but Highsmith’s reputation for suspense and twisted is what sealed the deal for me. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, got me hooked on her. She has a long list of published books to her name, including some that have already been brought to Hollywood. That alone may give you a clue to how well she tells a story.

What is it about?

You know those open relationships people claim to be having? And you’re always sitting there wondering to yourself, “How do they manage to do it? Doesn’t one of them get jealous? I would crack!” Yeah.. this novel explores domestic life and then some in a small town within driving distance of New York City. You’ve got Vic, a seemingly asexual guy who runs a small printing company, and Melinda, his wife, who only has eyes for… anyone but Vic! He’s totally cool with it, mostly…

Vic’s for sure a strange fellow and Melinda seems to be taunting him with her pursuits. Add insult to injury… let’s make sure all this is happening in front of good friends. Oh, the loss of respect amongst them. Poor Vic… can’t seem to keep his woman happy. This is late 1950s and yeah, there’s judgement. A quick search on the internet and you can check the cover art – some person is holding another person under water… deep….water. Ha, ok – good job me with the pun. As the novel’s title reveals, it’s getting wet and wild in New York.

What does it have?

  • American Suburban Life EXPOSED
  • Murder
  • Quirky Interests – Snails, Bed Bugs, Starving Herbs
  • Humor – the “WTF, LOL” kind

There’s more suspense than mystery and a big psychological cluster is going on. This isn’t your feel good read, that’s for sure. But, as Vic so aptly puts, “There’s more to life than getting along” (Deep Water). We aren’t always reading to skip away with a happily ever after, sometimes we need to see contentment lead to contempt.

Is it worth reading?

Of course I didn’t feel like I wasted my time at all but I don’t how how you’ll feel about it. Are you a Highsmith fan – her novels or the film adaptations of them? If so, yeah pick this up next. If you’re new to Highsmith and like the idea of psychological suspense but maybe not some of the aspects I’ve described of this novel, go for her first novel – which I mentioned above – Strangers on a Train.

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