A compelling story about a psychopath, multiple murders, and a man trapped in the middle of it all. Patricia Highsmith introduces us to Guy Haines and Charles Anthony Bruno as two strangers on a train, one a successful architect and the other a rich manipulative psychopath, that end up discussing the loathsome people in their lives. For Bruno, it’s his father who controls the family money while Haines’ ex-wife is making their divorce difficult in light of his desire to marry another. Bruno proposes that they should get rid of their “problems” by murdering them for each other. Haines doesn’t agree to commit the murders and only says he agrees to placate him, but Bruno decides to go ahead with the plan anyway. Thus begins Guy’s spiral into a nightmare of anxiety, murder, and obsession.
Highsmith is the master of crafting stories about how ordinary people can become murderers under the right circumstances. Many of her novels have been turned into movies. Alfred Hitchcock was inspired to create a movie based on her novel under the same title Strangers on a Train. His adaptation is slightly different with Guy Haines as a tennis player, less psychopathic drama, and a much happier ending compared to the novel. Read the book and then watch the movie for thrilling entertainment, but don’t compare the two. Each are meant to be different. Happy reading!
Read reviews on Goodreads for more details.