This was the first Patricia Highsmith novel I've read and it was definitely of the "noir" variety. The meeting of two strangers on a train and the plot once concocts and the other can't run away from makes compelling reading, but it is very dark. I might read more of her work but I would "space it out", otherwise it's too depressing. The Talented Mr Ripley by the same author is similar in it's depiction of truly evil people.
Patricia Highsmith's first novel, from 1950, and the basis for Hitchcock's film, which is quite different. If anything, Highsmith's novel, about a plot to swap murders, is darker, creepier, and more nihilistic than the film. Like Hitchcock, she is interested in guilt, particularly that of the architect character, but the character of Charles Bruno is a straight up, remorseless (and alcoholic) psychopath. Graham Greene called her "the poet of apprehension." If you like this, check out her celebrated Ripley series. (Oh, contrary to the other comment, the "tennis star" character is an architect in the book, unlike the film.)
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