Eaux Profondes
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Eaux Profondes

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  729 ratings  ·  80 reviews
The great revival of interest in Patricia Highsmith continues with this work that reveals the chilling reality behind the idyllic facade of American suburban life.

In Deep Water, set in the small town of Little Wesley, Vic and Melinda Meller's loveless marriage is held together only by a precarious arrangement whereby in order to avoid the messiness of divorce, Melinda is

...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Livre de Poche (first published 1957)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,476)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Barbara

Those who have read The Talented Mr. Ripley , are already acquainted with this master (actually mistress) of psychological suspense. Apparently, in 1950, when her first novel Strangers on a Train, was published, she had previously encountered resistance in America as an outspoken author on controversial themes. Deep Water is one of Highsmith’s early works and reveals her uncanny talent to capture the essence of a diabolical, treacherous personality.

Vic and Melinda VanAllen’s marriage is , simp...more
Tony
Highsmith, Patricia. DEEP WATER. (1957). ****.
Aside from the disappointing – to me – ending, this is an excellent psychological mystery by Ms. Highsmith. It is very different from her Ripley novels, although her main character, Vic, is very much the same as Ripley. Vic is married to Melinda. Vic owns a printing company that does special limited editions of selected works in a collectable format. His company doesn’t make a profit, but he continues with it because he has an independent source of...more
Ruth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie
Apr 15, 2012 Katie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literature lovers of slow build suspense
Recommended to Katie by: Me (via other Patricia Highsmith books I've read)
Patricia Highsmith does it again! I've never read another author who makes me root for the bad guy the way she does.

Vic is married to Melinda. She's a bitch who cheats on him, treats their small daughter like a non-existent entity, and drinks heavily and sloppily. Melinda flaunts her affairs at neighborhood BBQ's and cocktail parties. It's suburban New England in the 1950's, so these little get togethers are frequent.

Vic is a neighborhood favorite. He's neat, he's pleasant, he cooks, he dotes on...more
Judy
Oct 30, 2010 Judy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of psychological fiction
Shelves: books-from-1957
Highsmith does it again in this disturbing story of a suburban marriage gone awry. The setting and circumstances are so in tune with the late 50s but she adds a chill all her own.

Little Wesley is a small town north of New York City. Vic Van Allen lives off a trust fund left by his father and publishes small runs of exclusive books. He has his own press and practically handcrafts the books. In fact, he is an extremely ordered and industrious individual with several odd hobbies, such as raising...more
Karolyn Sherwood
I consider Patricia Highsmith to be one of my "literary idols." So, when Gillian Flynn picked DEEP WATER as her Wall Street Journal book club book, I bought it immediately. Yeah, I should have known: I didn't love GONE GIRL, therefore, I am not surprised that I didn't love DEEP WATER.

Written in 1957, DEEP WATER is the story of Vic and Melinda Van Allen, an unhappily married couple living in Massachusettes. Melinda has one affair after another, right under Vic's eyes. He is, on the surface, compl...more
Isaac Cooper
“The winter’s going to be even more boring – without a break somewhere,” he said.

“Oh, I don’t think it’s going to be boring,” she said.

He smiled. “Is that a threat?”

“Take it the way you like.”

“Are you going to put arsenic in my food?”

“I don’t think arsenic could kill you.”


A famous nobody once said that a good book is opening to a random page and being immediately interested, wanting to keep on reading from the random page. The above conversation fits into this saying nicely. It’s an awesome co...more
Carol
Patricia Highsmith is a master of suspense. Deep Water shares with her other books a certain remarkable slowness. Highsmith's characters unhurriedly attend to the minutiae of their lives. They entertain friends and admire artwork and do the gardening, they take drives and prepare supper. Very often it seems that nothing is happening in her books; and yet, as the pages turn, the reader becomes more and more tense, wondering when precisely the axe will fall--for it certainly will fall. By the end...more
Rick Homan
First-rate Highsmith -- as good as the best of the Ripley novels. She is supreme when it comes to creating psychopaths who pass unnoticed among us.
vanya klecherova
винаги, когато времето се смръщи, клоните на дърветата се запревиват и небето се кани да прогърми, ми се дощява да зачета някой от романите на патриша хайсмит. обичам бурите. гръмотевиците. обичам да отмарям с текстове на хайсмит. без пряка връзка между „черната кралица“ и бушуващото време. в конкретния случай – времето е фон, а текстът – сърцевина. самодостатъчна. пивка. (героите на патриша винаги пият. чашата е неотменна съставка от техния облик. особено в романите. също и пушат. героите. отпу...more
Brendan
After reading this book and Revolutionary Road and watching Mad Men, I am ready for a dread-free depiction of the early 1960s where the couple is happily married and emotionally fulfilled. In this book, sociopath Victor Van Allen has worked out an arrangement with his wife, the wild and petulant Melinda, where she can take the occasional lover as long as she doesn't leave him. I know, what could possibly go wrong?

Highsmith's portrayal of evil lurking beneath banal exteriors has been replayed by...more
Margot McGovern
Highsmith was prolific, and her novels almost always deliver her unique brand of skin-crawling suspense. Deep Water is no exception. In fact, if you’re already well-acquainted with Ripley, this is a great place to start exploring Highsmith’s larger body of work (I also highly recommend The Cry of the Owl (1962)). However, if Highsmith is new to you, you absolutely must get your hands on a copy of The Talented Mr Ripley.

Read my full review here: http://margotmcgovern.wordpress.com/2...
Aley Martin
I am not a big mystery-crime reader, but Highsmith has me hooked. Her characters are annoying or endearing and not the usual suspects. I find myself rooting for the other side quite often and find the reasoning behind some of the anger to be "sensible" for lack of another word! Her stuff is older before there was CSI and DNA and all that shit, but it makes sense. I like the psychological aspects of the stories and find myself turning pages late into the night, which is a good indicator of a writ...more
Ceil
I'm still trying to figure out how she manages to evoke the utter creepiness of a 1950s world in which the veneer of WASP civility barely conceals the rage underneath. So depressing. So well done.
Lynn Huntington
Not a mystery person but enjoyed this thriller. When I learned she had written The Talented Mr. Ripley I knew I would not be disappointed and I wasn't.
Andy
Oct 02, 2010 Andy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cuckolds
I wasn't surprised to read that Mike Nichols was adapting "Deep Water" for his next picture, because the plot's similar to his first film, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" A couple can't stand the sight of each other seem oddly co-dependent on each other, only this time the husband has enough spine to kill his wife's lover, or two. The book maintains a plain suburban back drop, the type John Cheever specialized in, only Highsmith brings so much impeccable malice to the proceedings. Another good...more
Jill Crisafi
eh.....
The last quarter of the book kept me going... I don't like waiting that long to get interested.
It was cool to realize how much things have changed since then.... However, I thought it was written well and actually looked forward to seeing how the story ended.
Livinginthecastle
There is always something about Highsmith novels where it takes me an age to finish the last couple of chapters and it was the same for this book. I think it's the steady feeling of dread that something horrible is going to occur, and coupled with the fact that Vic is 'sympathetic' because his wife Melinda is so awful, I didn't really want to know the ending. A very well-written tale of a poisonous marriage and the extremes of behaviour it inspires.
Dlhmoore
This is the first novel read by this author. I saw movies "Strangers on the Train", and "The Talented Mr. Ripley" but have never read them. I am blown away by this author. Her way of writing her mysteries is to let the reader know from the beginning what the crime is and who committed it. The mystery is the build up of what will happen to finally catch him. Her build up is so skillfully done that its hard to put the book down.

In this story the main character kills his wife's lover then defies an...more
Liz
Classic Highsmith, master of the psychological thriller.
Neiaushie Kinkade
One of my favorites! Of course, I've noticed that Highsmith has a tendency to portray the women in her novels as heartless, vain, philandering parasites and even if she doesn't write the wife as being unfaithful, she hints that she probably is or is going to be. As with all her novels, I love the psychological build up and eventual breakdown of the main character.
Marshaferz
Read for book club - had a great discussion. I'm still thinking about the characters. The writing is so fluid and evocative - I learned so much about the characters just from the opening lines: "Vic didn't dance, but not for the reasons that most men who don't dance give to themselves. He didn't dance simply because his wife liked to dance." Fantastic.
Alex Lewis
Gillian Flynn recommended this book in a WSJ article. As any Highsmith fan knows, somehow she makes her readers sympathize with a psychopathic killer such as Tom Ripley, her protagonist of five novels that have spawned seven or so movies. How does she do that? Why do you, as a reader, want this criminal to get away? In Deep Water she portrays the psychopathic villain, Vic, as a VICtim. In his own mind Vic enjoys his victimhood since it allows him to do anything, including committing crimes.

Patri...more
Judith
In a NYT article, Alexander McCall Smith (author of The #1 Ladies Detective Agency) recommended this book as one of his favorites. I am always interested in authors' preferences in literature and I have enjoyed every book I have read by this author (Strangers on a Train & The Talented Mr. Ripley). I was not disappointed.

The author is funny, clever, and terrifying at the same time. She has a very subtle way of turning an ordinary person into a monster, which is the scariest thing possible. I...more
Angie
After reading a magazine interview with Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl, where she was asked about her inspiration for writing GG, I picked up this book, written in 1957. Deep Water was indeed almost as dark as GG, but the biggest difference was the fact that it was written in 1957....there were no cell phones, no caller id, virtually no answering machines. Even though I was pretty sure I knew what was going to happen, the book was so compelling from a standpoint of a 50 year time difference,...more
Tina Matyskela
Disturbing and compelling. Classic Highsmith!
Elissa
I read this because it was the May 2014 selection for the Wall Street Journal book club. It was chosen by Gillian Flynn. The connection between the writing of Highsmith and that of Flynn is pretty clear. This was a psychological thriller that never really got it's heart rate up. The characters go through some extreme experiences, but overall, the book stayed on an even keel, which added to the strangeness and suspense. I'm glad I read it as it was my introduction to Highsmith, and I'm tempted to...more
Lupurk
Più che thriller, lo definirei romanzo psicologico. La trama "gialla" passa quasi in secondo piano, di fronte ai due protagonisti, Victor e Melinda. La Highsmith non si smentisce e ritrae due personaggi particolari e affascinanti, ognuno a suo modo. A prima vista, si tende a parteggiare per Victor, povero marito innamorato e vittima di continui tradimenti, nemmeno troppo celati, da parte dell'insopportabilmente viziata Melinda. Ma andando avanti, mi sono resa conto di quanto, in realtà, Victor s...more
Jamie
As always, Highsmith excels in these little tales of suburban sociopathies.

Victor Van Allen, husband and father finds himself in the unenviable position of being the neighborhood cuckold. But despite social pressures from friends maintains a calm and dispassionate face in the midst of what most would think would be a humiliating situation and calmly structures his life around maintaining his existence for his child and his own self-interests. After being humiliated by his wife repeatedly he reac...more
Edward
I've come late to Patricia Highsmith, first encountering her in the film versions of THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, RIPLEY'S GAME, and Hitchcock's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, followed by that novel, and now this l957 effort. She's a seductive writer, drawing a reader in with an criminal action and its consequences, but she goes much farther than that. If there's a commonality in all of these stories, it's an exploration of the fine line between "normal" people and their deranged counterparts, often occurrin...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 49 50 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith
  • The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith
  • Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson
  • Phantom Lady
  • The Kill-Off
  • The Widow
  • In a Lonely Place
  • Dark Passage
7622
Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist who is known mainly for her psychological crime thrillers which have led to more than two dozen film adaptations over the years.

She lived with her grandmother, mother and later step-father (her mother divorced her natural father six months before 'Patsy' was born and married Stanley Highsmith) in Fort Worth before moving with her parents to New York in...more
More about Patricia Highsmith...
The Talented Mr. Ripley (Ripley, #1) Strangers on a Train The Price of Salt Ripley's Game (Ripley, #3) Ripley Under Ground (Ripley, #2)

Share This Book

“There was something demoniacal and insuperable about typographical errors, as if they were part of the natural evil that permeated man's existence, as if they had a life of their own and were determined to manifest themselves no matter what, as surely as weeds in the best-tended gardens.” 2 likes
“There were many times when logic was of no comfort.” 1 likes
More quotes…