Litkicks Message Board Archive

The Cry of the Owl

Posted to What Are You Reading?

No one can deny that Patricia Highsmith is quite bizarre and unique among mystery writers. She has always been popular in Europe, but only within the last eight years has her reputation gained significant ground in the United States. She was born American, lived most of her life in France, and yet her fellow citizens are not even aware of the fact that she was nominated for a Nobel Prize.

Her characters are quite unsettling, more often than not, psychotic or dangerously irrational. THE CRY OF THE OWL is about a lonely, depressed man, a peeping-tom who finds himself unintentionally dragged into a mordant world of angst and emotional violence.

Like her other novels, which include THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY and STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, the reader is given the impression that the story line will be simple. On the contrary, it evolves into something enormously complex.

Highsmith is not a whodunnit writer....she is better described as a whydunnit. The fact that she is unpredictable makes her all the more intriguing.