In Deep Water, set in the quiet, small town of Little Wesley, Patricia Highsmith has created a vicious and suspenseful tale of love gone sour.
Vic and Melinda Van Allen's loveless marriage is held together only by a precarious arrangement whereby, in order to avoid the messiness of divorce, Melinda is allowed to take any number of lovers as long as she does not desert her family. Eventually, Vic can no longer suppress his jealousy and tries to win back his wife by asserting himself through a tall tale of murder—one that soon comes true. In this complex portrayal of a dangerous psychosis emerging in the most unlikely of places, Highsmith examines the chilling reality behind the idyllic facade of American suburban life.
A very interesting author and a fascinating character study. This was the first time I have read anything by this author and although it feels a bit dated, the story moves along very nicely. You can like "Vic" one minute and find him cruel and cold the next. Melinda is pathetic on one page and you feel her pain on the next. I'd like to try another story from this author. Good fast read.
This book starts with deceptive simplicity but continues to build suspense without any definitive attempt to frighten the reader. I found myself feeling almost as guilty as the main character, Vic, by the time I reached the book's conclusion. I am ready for my next Highsmith book.