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February 22, 2018
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February 21, 2018
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February 19, 2018
What I Learned from Tom Ripley, Bruno Antony, and Patricia Highsmith
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February 13, 2018
Crime Fiction in the Age of Trump
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Showing posts by: Mitch Silver click to see Mitch Silver's profile
Mon
Feb 19 2018 4:00pm

What I Learned from Tom Ripley, Bruno Antony, and Patricia Highsmith

My wife Ellen’s maiden name is Highsmith. And yes, she’s related. Which was the entire flimsy reason that I decided to read each of Aunt Pat’s five Tom Ripley thrillers. That and my love of all things Alfred Hitchcock—especially Strangers on a Train, the movie Hitch made from Patricia Highsmith’s first published novel.

If you’ve never read The Talented Mr. Ripley—well, what are you waiting for? Even if you have, and you’ve seen the Matt Damon movie to boot, there’s a lot to be gleaned from a re-reading of her handling of plot, character, and atmosphere.

Villains were her specialty. Start with Bruno Antony, her first baddie, who meets architect Guy Haines on a train. Over drinks, Bruno learns that Guy’s wife, Miriam, refuses to give him a divorce. After a little more conversation, Bruno says, “Want me to dope out the perfect murder of your wife for you? You might want to use it sometime.”

[Read more from Mitch Silver!]

Thu
Feb 8 2018 2:00pm

Mitch Silver Excerpt: The Bookworm

The Bookworm by Mitch Silver takes readers from a secret operation during World War II―with appearances by Noel Coward and Winston Churchill―to present day London and Moscow, where Lara Klimt, “the Bookworm,” must employ all her skills to prevent an international conspiracy.

Why did Hitler chose not to invade England when he had the chance?

Europe, 1940: It’s late summer and Belgium has been overrun by the German army. Posing as a friar, a British operative talks his way into the monastery at Villers-devant-Orval just before Nazi art thieves plan to sweep through the area and whisk everything of value back to Berlin. But the ersatz man of the cloth is no thief. Instead, that night he adds an old leather Bible to the monastery’s library and then escapes.

London, 2017: A construction worker operating a backhoe makes a grisly discovery―a skeletal arm-bone with a rusty handcuff attached to the wrist. Was this the site, as a BBC newsreader speculates, of “a long-forgotten prison, uncharted on any map?” One viewer knows better: it’s all that remains of a courier who died in a V-2 rocket attack. The woman who will put these two disparate events together―and understand the looming tragedy she must hurry to prevent―is Russian historian and former Soviet chess champion Larissa Mendelovg Klimt, “Lara the Bookworm,” to her friends. She’s also experiencing some woeful marital troubles.

Lara will learn the significance of six musty Dictaphone cylinders recorded after D-Day by Noel Coward―actor, playwright and, secretly, a British agent reporting directly to Winston Churchill. She will understand precisely why that leather Bible, scooped up by the Nazis and deposited on the desk of Adolf Hitler days before he planned to attack Britain, played such a pivotal role in turning his guns to the East. And she will discover the new secret pact negotiated by the nefarious Russian president and his newly elected American counterpart―maverick and dealmaker―and the evil it portends.

Oh, and she’ll reconcile with her husband.

[Read an excerpt from The Bookworm...]