Patricia Highsmith 2021 (first published 1955). The Talented Mr Ripley. Vintage Classics. 272 pp.

Well-written, haunting tale that in my mind hardly qualifies as a seminal and/or favourite crime novel of many writers and critics (of Richard Osman, for a recent example). Instead I shelve this in the ‘Bonfires of the Vanities’ category along with the Rabbit novels of John Updike. Seemingly a significant portion of ‘serious American fiction’ of the 1950s onwards relies on pathological characters like Tom Ripley. Is this dark fascination one of the seeds of the Trump phenomenon?