Strangers on a Train

This classic thriller by Patricia Highsmith is the basis for one of my favorite Alfred Hitchcock films by the same name. In essence, the title mostly describes the plot of the book- it is about two strangers who meet on a train. But that’s also where they discuss murdering people in their lives. Bruno wants to kill his father and Guy his wife. This one-time encounter means that they can both have solid alibis for committing the other’s murder and never be a real suspect.

Guy is a normal man currently going through a divorce- because his wife cheated on him. He fantasizes about killing her, but not in a serious way. Bruno is obsessed with killing his father. But as the novel goes on, that obsession is redirected towards Guy. Bruno stalks him and inserts himself constantly into Guy’s life and mind.

I thought this novel was going to be about the murders and the plotting. It was, but it was more about the psychology of a killer and what circumstances have to arise for a typical man to commit a murder. Especially a murder for someone else.

This novel wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. But I still enjoyed listening to it. I would want to read more of Highsmith’s work, especially The Price of Salt.

3/5

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