The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Tom Ripley first appeared in 1955 in novelist Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. There is no doubt that Ripley is a scoundrel. Initially hired by a wealthy New York businessman to travel to Italy and convince the gentleman’s wayward son to return home and work for the family business, Tom proves himself to be a liar, a murderer, an impostor and a thief.
For these deeds, he is never caught and never formally punished. He does, however, take the reader on a nail-biting trip as he murders his way through Italy, just managing to cover his tracks anytime the authorities begin to get too close.
Tom Ripley is one of those fictional characters who readers find themselves rooting for despite his misdeeds – and such misdeeds are gruesome. Fortunately, for those of us who enjoy a good crime tale, Mr. Ripley appears in a total of five novels.