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Ripley Under Ground (Ripley #2)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  4,903 Ratings  ·  316 Reviews
"Patricia Highsmith is often called a mystery or crime writer, which is a bit like calling Picasso a draftsman."
Cleveland Plain Dealer

It's been six years since Ripley murdered Dickie Greenleaf and inherited his money. Now, in Ripley Under Ground (1970), he lives in a beautiful French villa, surrounded by a world-class art collection and married to a pharmaceutical heiress
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 17th 2008 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1970)
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Richard Derus
Jan 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: It's been six years since Ripley murdered Dickie Greenleaf and inherited his money. Now, in Ripley Under Ground (1970), he lives in a beautiful French villa, surrounded by a world-class art collection and married to a pharmaceutical heiress. All seems serene in Ripley's world until a phone call from London shatters his peace. An art forgery scheme he set up a few years ago is threatening to unravel: a nosy American is asking questions and Ripley must go to
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
“Honestly, I don't understand why people get so worked up about a little murder!”
― Patricia Highsmith, Ripley Under Ground


While I don't believe 'Ripley Under Ground' is quite on the same level as 'The Talented Mr Ripley' it is still amazing to think about on how many levels Highsmith is writing. This novel reminds me a lot of Peter Carey's novel My Life as a Fake and obviously Gaddis' The Recognitions. It also makes me want to explore deeper into the life of Wolfgang Beltrracchi, but that will
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, rth-lifetime
The startling thing about The Talented Mr. Ripley was finding out what Ripley was capable of, because you found out along with him. He wants so much, and over the course of the book he discovers what he can do to get it.

The problem with Ripley Under Ground is that both of you already know. So there are no surprises here. You read it because you liked the first one and you want to see Ripley up to his old game.

You'll get it, but this sequel is less deadly than the first book. It's just an excit
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I knew going into this that the later Ripley novels don't live up to the first one, but I was still curious anyway. And it was certainly true that a lot of those elements that made the first novel so enjoyable - Tom's very believable rationalizations of his actions, the atmosphere and the tightrope-like intensity of the action - were largely missing from this book. The events in this book take place some 6 or 7 years after the first book. Tom has settled down in France with a French wife and lea ...more
Aug 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Sociopath Tom Ripley lives the life of luxury in a beautiful villa in France, forty miles outside of Paris; he is an amateur painter and has an appreciation for fine arts, he finds pleasure working in the garden, he has a cellar full vintage wine, he reads, he travels back and forth across Europe…and he’s a killer. He has a housekeeper and a beautiful wife who little by little comes to suspect that her husband has been living on the dark side. But does she care? Amorality has never been this muc ...more
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book lacks the intensive character-driven analysis of the first Ripley (from which the plot derives), and is far more plot-driven and somewhat formulaic. It seems that after 15 years, she decided to revive her career by doing another Ripley, and then had to fish around for a plotline.

There is nothing terribly wrong with the book - she's an expert craftswoman -- but it's a bit trivial (as a result). Still, the events of #2 are prelude, in part, to #3.
M.J. Johnson
Jan 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Ripley Under Ground (1971) is set in the village of Villeperce a short distance from Paris, where Tom Ripley, some three years on from his murderous and larcenous activities in Italy, enjoys a leisurely existence of rural bliss at Belle Ombre, the pleasant residence he shares with his beautiful, rich, French wife Heloise and their devoted housekeeper Madame Annette. Those deeply insecure character traits that made Tom Ripley such a fascinating character in The Talented Mr Ripley have almost comp ...more
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For all those who thought that crime thrillers are serious stuff, here’s a book to make you change your mind. Tom Ripley returns as the audacious crook now living the good life in France, married to a rich & beautiful girl. There is reference to his past life as Dickie Greenleaf’s friend but the story starts with the dust having more or less settled on that affair. Instead, we learn of Ripley’s discrete involvement in a long-running forgery scam which shows signs of unravelling when a rich A ...more
Aug 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Angie by: Robert
Wow, I loved this book. It felt like a whirlwind read for me as I read it in a couple of days while I was off work. The plot suited this as it was fast and unrelenting.

Ripley is now found living in complete luxury in a French villa with his chic French wife, the gorgeous, vacuous Heloise (ooh la-la), and spends his time collecting and creating art. He is also involved in a few underhand schemes to make additional income for himself, one of which is a business venture concerned with forged works
Lou Robinson
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm excited, book 2 lived up to the high expectation I had after finishing The Talented Mr Ripley. And there are another 3 to read in the Ripley series, and loads more Patricia Highsmith novels! Glad I picked up on these, thanks to Waterstones who had a nice display in their Canary Wharf shop.
I think what I'm enjoying most about Tom Ripley's adventures is the style that Highsmith uses. These are gruesome tales but not too much gory description, yet I've laughed out loud several times throughout
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
Loved the first one. This was incredibly disappointing unfortunately. If I had to read the word Derwatt one more time I would've thrown the book across the room.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, mystery
it's late, I'm off to sleep.... I'm disappointed at how this book turned out. I enjoyed book 1, not going to continue this series. But I still love author Highsmith. Hopefully my next book from her won't disappoint.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, pg-13
Disappointed. It's a well written book stylistically, but Pat has completely lost her character! Ripley is not the kind to do "group project" murders. He would never murder to protect somebody else (he's a psychopath). I can't possibly believe he had enough control to not murder for six years.

In the last book, when Ripley murdered it was sort of a desperate need. This book has a calm cool collected Ripley who murders for convenience. The old Ripley was excited with anticipation for the murder,
Oct 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I read the Talented Mr Ripley a number of years ago and can't recall too much about it (plus a lot of what I remember has been corrupted by the film). However, I liked Highsmith's style and gave Ripley another shot.

We find Tom a few years older, happily married to a French girl, living the high life in the French countryside. A storyline about a forgery scam involving a dead painter draws Tom back into a brush with the law, a little murder and a lot of moral ambiguity.

Ripley really is a complex
Maria João Fernandes
Tom Ripley is as fascinating as Lisbeth Salander. They are the two best characters I’ve had the pleasure to meet. Despite his murders I don’t think Ripley is a cold blood killer. He doesn’t like to kill but when it’s strictly necessary he is the best person to do it and he won’t hesitate. Have you ever known a liar as good as Ripley?

Patricia Highsmith definitely knows how to write. The Ripley series will present you the most intriguing life of Tom Ripley.

Ripley Under Ground shows us Ripley livi
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night, lit
an excellent addition to Highsmith's earlier genre defining work. This story is deceptively more simple but features a rather nerve wracking cat and mouse chase throughout. It's like the phrase "the suspense is killing me" was invented for the Tom Ripley books because right from the first page the suspense is applied. First you're wondering what Tom is going to do, then how he's going to get away with it, then why he didn't avoid doing something so unspeakable dangerous and daring yet unnecessar ...more
Nov 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It had been a curious murder.

that's what tom ripley thinks to himself at one point in this novel, with the strange cool detachment that marks him as a character. the ripley books are a bit like dexter (a show i follow sporadically, although i have so far never read the books) in that you follow the unwinding of the plot through the eyes of a protagonist who is a cold-blooded murderer. but unlike that show, the sense of urgency here stems not from the reader/watcher's (perhaps unwilling) sympathy
Dec 09, 2013 rated it liked it
An amateur art collector raises questions about a possible art-forgery scheme of which Tom Ripley happens to be the mastermind and partial beneficiary. That leaves Mr. Ripley with only one course of action, but his solution gets a little complicated.

This is the second novel in Patricia Highsmith's Ripliad, a series of five novels featuring the casual murderer Tom Ripley. Unfortunately, this novel has a lot of overt explaining in its narrative, which is a no-no for me. Both the back-story at the
Aleisha  Zolman
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like this genre
Recommended to Aleisha by: movies and krista
When FYE went out of business I bought the first three Ripley books for a GREAT deal. I pushed myself a little to finish the first "The Talented Mr. Ripley"--my full review is on my book list--but, needless to say it wasn't my favorite story or wrting style. My friend Krista suggested to keep going with the series and I would really appreciate the character and the writing. I believe her because Krista is 1) a prolific reader and 2) has a fabulous track rcord of recommending books I LOVE! (She i ...more
Jan 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt as if this fell into the category of "completely unnecessary sequels," but for what it was, I thought it was pretty great.

The Talented Mr. Ripley was a noir masterpiece, and its protagonist, Tom Ripley, was a fascinating combination of con man, sociopath, and social climber. Patricia Highsmith wrote Ripley Under Ground 15 years after the first novel, but Ripley has only aged five or six years since the events of The Talented Mr. Ripley. He now has a comfortable life in the French countrys
Barbara Morgan
Took me much longer to read because I simply could not get into the story. As much as I loved The Talented Mr. Ripley, I was disappointed in this follow up. Other reviewers have speculated that Highsmith returned to Ripley 15 years after the first book because she knew it would be a money-maker. Perhaps. But this book, while still well written and better than the average thriller, did not deliver what I expected. Gone is the undercurrent of suppressed homosexuality, which in my opinion made Ripl ...more
Melissa McShane
Oct 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
This sequel to The Talented Mr. Ripley isn't quite as tensely gripping, but still managed to keep me on the edge of my seat. Most of this was because Ripley KEPT TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT THE MURDER and just would not shut up about it. Every time he let someone new in on the secret, I was convinced that person would be the one to blab to the police. (view spoiler) ...more
Apr 05, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing. I don't get this story. I kept waiting for things to fall into place and tie together. Ripley has definitely evolved. He seems more the confident fat cat in this book. But his relationship with Bernanrd, which is at the heart of the story, is inexplicable to me. The writing is still good and the historical details still charm me. In this story I was struck by how far we have come in telecommunications - in the book, when calling overseas you would request a line, then wait upwards ...more
Jul 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
Continuing my journey through Highsmith's body of work, I took on the second of her Tom Ripley stories. I liked this less than The Talented Mr. Ripley. Highsmith wrote this 15 years after the first book but only six years seem to have elapsed in "Ripley time" (and she mentions a poster for Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet which was released in '68 I believe), so the chronology bothered me slightly. Ripley's character, while still a charming sociopath, seemed less compelling this time around and no ...more
Oct 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
The truth is in this book. We are all capable of murder. Who amongst us hasn't hated somebody else. Even wanted them dead. I know I have on several occasions.
It takes guts to admit it. Even more guts to actually pull off the deed. So Mr Ripley is a character that I totally empathise with. In fact I'm jealous of his talent. And of the author, who was an absolute master of this genre.
Hatred is a good emotion. After all it's the flip side of love. If you can't get worked up about something then w
3.5 stars

More plot-based than the The Talented Mr. Ripley, which was a very unique character study I thoroughly enjoyed. The caliber of this sequel is definitely lower, but I did enjoy its fast-paced story line and, at times, absurd humor (view spoiler), so I can't call it a complete failure.
Terri Jacobson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
The second in the Ripley saga - more bodies and more deceit.....
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“Honestly, I don't understand why people get so worked up about a little murder!”

This is the sequel of 'The Talented Mr Ripley' and picks up Tom's life six years later. He's in his early 30s, married and living in a grand villa outside of Paris paid for by his wife's family money. Tom spends his time pottering about, gardening, painting and improving his French. This is the life that he believes he was born for and deserves.

However, Tom is also involved in a lucrative scam selling forged painti
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
According to legend, some editor once told Patricia Highsmith she'd sell more books if she wrote about more likeable characters.

Her response: "But I don't like anyone."

I'm telling you this because the characters in Ripley Under Ground are, well, not very likeable. We have Tom Ripley, now living a life of leisure in the French countryside; his wife, Heloise, who's "interested in money, but not particularly in where it comes from;" Thomas Murchison, a loud American businessman who's determined to
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Play Book Tag: Ripley Under Ground / Patricia Highsmith. 3.5 stars 3 12 Nov 24, 2016 04:00PM  
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Other books in the series

Ripley (5 books)
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley (Ripley, #1)
  • Ripley's Game (Ripley, #3)
  • The Boy Who Followed Ripley (Ripley, #4)
  • Ripley Under Water (Ripley, #5)

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“Honestly, I don't understand why people get so worked up about a little murder!” 14 likes
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