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Those Who Walk Away: A Virago Modern Classic (VMC Book 9)

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3.50  ·  Rating details ·  741 ratings  ·  95 reviews
The honeymoon is over; the bride dead by her own hand. Ray Garrett, the grieving husband, convinces the police in Rome of his innocence, but not his father-in-law, Ed Coleman, who shoots him at point-blank range and leaves him for dead. Ray survives and follows Coleman to Venice, where the two fall into an eerie game of cat-and-mouse - Coleman obsessed with vengeance and R ...more
Kindle Edition, 273 pages
Published November 6th 2014 by Virago (first published 1967)
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Average rating 3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  741 ratings  ·  95 reviews


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notgettingenough
This was a fine way to while away some sick time, but I would not say it was her best. Fortunately a less than superior offering by Highsmith is so very much better than most people's pinnacle of achievement. I found myself unconvinced by the motivation/character of Ray, the main character, or Coleman's, his adversary. Not once did either of them - or anybody in the story - feel real to me.

Rest here.

This was a fine way to while away some sick time, but I would not say it was her best. Fortunately a less than superior offering by Highsmith is so very much better than most people's pinnacle of achievement. I found myself unconvinced by the motivation/character of Ray, the main character, or Coleman's, his adversary. Not once did either of them - or anybody in the story - feel real to me.

Rest here.

https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpre...
...more
Daniela
Jun 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
A game of cat-and mouse set in Venice between Edward Coleman, whose daughter has just committed suicide, and her husband Rayburn Garrett, which Coleman blames for his daughters death.

There are several murder attempts, shots in the dark, chases in the narrow streets of Venice, many expensive Italian restaurants being mentioned, a lot of cappuccino being drunk, and a handful of bored Americans too rich for their own good.

While the plot is okay, the motivations of the characters were u
...more
Eric_W
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another classic in the same vein as Highsmith's Ripley series. The setting is Venice during the winter. It's dreary. Ray, whose wife committed suicide some weeks before, has followed his father-in-law, Ed Coleman, from Rome where Ed tried to shoot him. Ed thinks his son-in-law didn't do enough to prevent the suicide. There follows a bizarre pas-de-deux between the two as each circles the other, Ed, distraught over the death of his daughter, and Ray trying to make amends. Ed makes other attempts ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
What an odd book. My first by Highsmith. A sort of folie a deux, mainly set in Venice. A dead woman's father blames the husband and makes multiple murder attempts. Weirdo hubbie not only does not report these but follows pa-in-law from Rome to Venice and then hides from everyone after the second attempt, stalking p-i-l. Surfaces again after the 3rd murder attempt results in the worm turning and p-i-l getting what for at which point the latter in his own turn hides out. Severe WTFness. Hubby trac ...more
Will
Apr 13, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-fiction
One of her worst books. I'm baffled as to why my copy calls it her "masterpiece" and other reviewers praise its psychology (because that's what the book is missing). I guess they think it's enough to throw around words like "suicide" and "grief" and be done with it!
Berenike
He stood again at the window. And by God, he swore to himself, if that bastard is still alive and hanging around Venice, I'll get him. Ray Garrett was asking for it, that was the funny part. His eyes were begging for it.

Ugh. 250 pages of people running in circles around each other in Venice, drinking various beverages and worrying if they have enough money to buy more beverages.

Writing ★★★★☆
Characters ★★★★☆
Plot ★★☆☆☆

Ray's wife has killed herself a couple of we
...more
Jodie "Bookish"  Cook
Book review
Title: Those who walk away

Author: Patricia Highsmith

Genre: Crime/Mystery/Drama

Rating:**

Review: ‘The No.1 greatest crime writer’, proclaims The Times on the covers of Virago’s new reprints of some of Patricia Highsmith’s lesser known novels. That’s obviously a claim that could be disputed, but there’s no doubt that she was a very remarkable author. Her books are far more than run of the mill crime novels – best described as psycholo
...more
Kirsty
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: may-2019
3.5 stars.
Starre Vartan
Cat & mouse in Venice, so, classic Highsmith. Minus a star because the protagonist was a bit dim which was a strange and unwelcome experiment by the author.
Elinor Perry-Smith
I've always loved Highsmith's forensic way with her prose. She gets right into the heads of her flawed characters, but, bizarrely, eschews judgment in favour of examination of their motives. That was true of Ripley and it's true of her protagonists in this book. Ray Garrett's young wife Peggy kills herself. Her father Ed Coleman holds his son-in-law very much to blame. The two men seem bound by mutual loathing as they hunt or avoid each other through the streets and canals of Venice, inevitably ...more
Andy
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dark, deadpan satire on the insanity of in-laws, “Those Who Walk Away” is the tale of an unforgiving bully chasing his son-in-law around beautiful, romantic Venice with the sole purpose of avenging his flaky daughter’s suicide. Because he holds the son-in–law responsible, numerous murder attempts are committed throughout the novel, the most absurd one being pushing his prey off a gondola into the Venice Canal in the middle of the night. I kept waiting for the next manic murder attempt to happen ...more
Tosh
Oct 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patricia Highsmith is one of the greats of the 20th Century. This novel is about grieving over a daughter/wife with acts of violence and hatred. One of the amazing things about Highsmith's work is how she gets under the skin of her main characters. Often imitated, but no one has mastered her 'cool' skill in getting these people down on paper. The closest comparison I can think of is Patrick Hamilton. But he's very British and most of his stories take place in London. Highsmith is all over Europe ...more
Deanne
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimethriller
cracking read of a cat and mouse variety set in Venice. After the death of his wife Ray tries to talk to her father, but Coleman who idolises his daughter just wants Ray to die, and he's willing to help him.
Melissa
Nov 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily Colkitt
Patricia Highsmith is one of those rare few writers whose prose I would like to inhale until it becomes my own. She has a terrible habit of writing sentences so haunting and seductive that I have to reread them twice and thrice before moving on. While Those Who Walk Away may not rank among her greatest achievements, it still soars above much of the stuff topping charts and winning awards nowadays.

The premise of the story is characteristically peculiar for a Highsmith novel. The honey
...more
Gina Rheault
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This, of all things, is Patricia Highsmith funnin' us all with a black comedy. Nothing happens. We spend an awful lot of time in Venice and on Giudecca, which she captures very well. If you have ever been arm-twisted into experiencing Venice and environs this will be fun -- including boring people, incidentally American, who could be fine upstanding citizens from anywhere in the world, shocked at criminality and signalling the cameriere to order another round of apertifs. They all walk away! ...more
Ian
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peggy's dead.

Ray (Peggy's husband) claims it was suicide.

Coleman (Peggy's father) thinks that Ray murdered her.

Chaos ensues in Venice. More specifically, the Venice of your dreams. Highsmith paints a picture of 1950's Venice so postcard-esque you can almost smell the Americano's being sipped on the Gritti Palace terrace overlooking the glorious Grand Canal at sunset.

This reads as more of a travelogue than a suspense novel. Coleman is adamant that Ray murdered
...more
Gila Gila
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Quieter than her better known novels, more pensive and brooding than violent and action driven, but a fascinating study of two grieving, angry men – the husband and the father of a woman who has died unexpectedly – locked in not quite mortal combat. They loathe each other but can’t seem to leave each other alone; they’re like fencing partners (at one point almost literally, at least there’s a blade involved, and a fair amount of blood) carrying out a duel over weeks. Since the slow battle is wag ...more
Artgeoff
Disappointing: this is not of the same quality as the Ripley books. She said it was the story of a murder “told from the viewpoint of the corpse”. But, in fact, there is no corpse. Ultimately two men are locked, in Venice, in a battle to see which one kills the other. One is unreasonably obsessed with killing the other. The other is slowly coming to the realisation that possibly the only way he will survive is to kill the first. The first, an artist, is the father-in-law of the second. The daugh ...more
Danics
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It had been a while since I'd read a book by Patricia Highsmith. I was not disappointed by this one.
The book tells the story of Ray, after his wife kills herself and his relationship with his father in law. A relationship which we struggle to understand at first but then end up understanding.
As the previous books I had read, the author is a master in the art of presenting the characters and giving them a depth that is not common in other stories. The setting (Venice) is also describe
...more
V.S. Kemanis
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not excellent Highsmith but very good. I found this bizarre tale suspenseful and compulsively readable. The two main characters, Ray and Coleman, are obsessively drawn to each other in a dangerous game. Some reviewers have said they cannot understand or buy into the characters' motivations for their irrational behavior. To me, the irrationality and complexity of their inner lives made it interesting and drove me to question. Slowly, a framework is revealed in Ray's relationship to his deceased w ...more
Tony
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is another classic Highsmith story involving two male protagonists, the father and husband of Peggy who has recently committed suicide. Highsmith is adept at not only developing a strong storyline but also making us consider the motives and reactions of the two main characters and the people around them. Set in Venice with its labyrinth of canals and alleys, a battle of hunter versus hunted.
Daniel Gamboa
Fast-paced novel set beautifully in Venice. Its characters make some odd choices for the benefit of the plot, but it was worth reading; especially, since Venice is also a character in the novel. There sure was (some) character development, but I cannot say that I found Ray or Ed interesting, for they were too average – at least when compared to other characters created by Patricia Highsmith. All in all, it is an engaging book, but not one that I would read again, like "The Talented Mr. Ripley", ...more
Leslie
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Highsmith

I think I may have read this one before but I never tire of Highsmith. Ray Garrett is pursued by his former father -in-law who blames him for the suicide of his daughter. Coleman makes four attempts on Ray's life in Venice, which itself is a character in the book. For those who like Highsmith's quirky world view.
Graham Donnelly
A great fan of Patricia Highsmith, especially the Ripley books, Strangers on a Train, The Cry of The Owl etc. but this one was not one of her best. Rather slow narrative and repetitious behaviour by the two main characters. Sorry to be unenthusiastic but not every one of any writer will be a cracker.
Lina
It started out promising, but towards the end I was so annoyed, I would have cheered if these two chucklefucks had just killed each other.

I think that Highsmith might have lost the plot in her admiration of Venice.
Rosemary Orme
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018challenge
Beautifully crafted mystery set in Venice. A furious father seeks vengeance on the son in law, under whose care his only daughter committed suicide. Evokes Venice engagingly and Ray's motivation is intriguing. Highly recommended.
Christine Sinclair
Love Patricia Highsmith, which is why I bought this book. Interesting plot, great ambience in Venice, but the characters never grabbed me, and the cat and mouse action got old after a while. Not as good as I expected.
Paul
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I did not remember this one from my first read twenty years ago, but it's intoxicating for its descriptions (real? glamorized?) of Venice and its presentation of two very quirky but believable man-types.
Maxine Rohde
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I simply could not put this book down. I’ve been to Venice, and reading this book made me feel like I was right there again, walking along with characters and seeing what they were seeing. Highsmith’s descriptions are thorough and vivid. Very absorbing indeed.
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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
“¿Y qué era el luto? Cara larga durante una hora, un dia…pero no mucho más…(…) Pero ¿por lo demás? Coleman no se hacia ilusiones en el sentido de que por él iban a derrarmarse muchas lágrimas. El luto era algo reservado a un puñado de amigos verdaderos, o a las familias unidas que lo guardaban principalmente para que lo viera el resto de lal familia.” 0 likes
“De pronto le pareció, que el amor erótico y el amor romántico, no era nada más que una forma o varias formas del ego. Por consiguiente, lo que había que hacer era dirigir el ego de uno mismo hacia destinatarios que no fuesen personas, o hacia personas de las que uno no esperase nada. El amor podia ser puro, pero sólo si no era egoista.” 0 likes
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