This Sweet Sickness- Patricia Highsmith

Snip20170314_2I really enjoyed this book. It was not really a thriller but the suspense kept me turning pages. David Kelsey is a scientist. He used to date Annabelle but he moved in order to get a higher paying job and she married someone else. But…David is obsessed with Annabelle. Although she is now married he completely ignores that tiny fact and behaves as if they are engaged.

I don’t want to say too much about this book because I don’t want to spoil it.  David keeps a house outside of the town he works in. He tells people at the boarding house he is visiting his mother in a nursing home each weekend but he is really going to the house he built for Annabelle. He takes on another name and lives as another who is married to Annabelle. His fantasies and conversations with her in his weekend house keep him going. It is beginning to tell she has little interest in him.

The entire story is how he becomes more and more obsessed with her, the conflicts with several people that arise from his obsession and how it is all resolved at the end.

He becomes sicker and sicker with this obsession. The suspenseful part of the book is how other people, namely his friends, Wes (who has a wife he can’t stand to be with) and Effie ()who is completely in love with David) interfere in his plans. Every time he plans something one of them seems to crop up.  David begins with his fantasy life with Annabelle and then a particular event happens. This changes the entire direction of the story and the continued interference of thSnip20170315_1ose around him cause the suspense. You are always wondering, ‘how in the world is this going to end?’.

I think Patricia Highsmith is a brilliant story teller and I have not yet come across another author who can weave a story into the knots that she does. Last year I saw the play The Talented Mr. Ripley but have not read the book. I also saw the film Carol but have not read the corresponding book Ms. Highsmith wrote. Mr. Penguin read Strangers on a Train and I have yet to read that but I do remember the Alfred Hitchcock film. I wish this was a movie because I would love to see how they do it.

I would love to know what others thing of this book. I really enjoyed it.