The Crime Writer

The Crime Writer

A Novel

Paperback - 2017
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From acclaimed novelist Jill Dawson comes this imaginative psychological thriller--a dark and compelling snapshot into the life of Patricia Highsmith that immerses readers into the intoxicating, nightmarish psyche of this brilliant, complex author.

When novelist Patricia Highsmith moves into a small cottage in Suffolk, England, in the mid-1960s, she's seeking seclusion and time to write. There's another reason for seeking privacy too--Pat is involved in a secret romance with Sam, a married woman living in London.

But even in this quaint village, Pat can't escape the obligations of her success. A young reporter, Virginia "Ginny" Smythson-Balby, sets her sights on Pat for an article she's writing. Ginny is both tenacious and oddly familiar, but Pat can't quite place where she's seen her before. Intent on unearthing details about Pat's fascination with not just the subject of murder but the psychology of a murderer, Ginny constantly intrudes into the sanctuary Pat had hoped to create, much to her dismay.

As Pat observes, love is a kind of madness. And when Sam comes for a visit, tension between Pat and Sam's husband escalates with deadly results. For so long she's wondered what it would feel like to commit the ultimate transgression. Now she's not just a chronicler of murder and violence, but a participant as she becomes a character from her own thrilling, disturbing novels. But just like her books, she discovers crime has consequences...dark, surprising, and inescapable.

Jill Dawson deftly explores the public and private life of one of the most intriguing writers of our time, blending fact and fiction in a novel as thrilling as Patricia Highsmith's own work.

Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial, 2017
Edition: First Harper Perennial paperback
ISBN: 9780062669582
Branch Call Number: DAWSON J
Characteristics: 246 pages ; 21 cm


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Aug 08, 2017

For such a short book it dragged and ending sought to imitate recent thrillers like Girl On a Train.

Jun 23, 2017

You'd be so much better off reading an actual Highsmith novel. This book is a slog with a terrible ending. Just tepid in honor of an author who was anything but.

Aug 25, 2016

This is a very clever novel, with Patricia Highsmith as subject and protagonist living out her fantasies of murder and madness in the Suffolk countryside. An enjoyable read.


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