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Ripley Under Ground

(Ripley #2)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  5,865 ratings  ·  386 reviews
In this harrowing illumination of the psychotic mind, the enviable Tom Ripley has a lovely house in the French countryside, a beautiful and very rich wife, and an art collection worthy of a connoisseur. But such a gracious life has not come easily. One inopportune inquiry, one inconvenient friend, and Ripley's world will come tumbling down— unless he takes decisive steps. ...more
Paperback, 298 pages
Published September 1st 1992 by Vintage (first published June 1970)
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Roman Clodia
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A second outing for suave psychopath, Tom Ripley. Such a shame Highsmith jumps straight to him being married to a French wife and living in a French villa - I'd have loved to have been party to that wooing!

This time, Ripley is involved in an art fraud operation - and already Highsmith has realised that if nearly all fiction about art riffs on fraud and identity, then she can go one step further.

Another deliciously dark offering full of edgy tension and sudden explosions of violence.
Richard Derus
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
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rth-lifetime, 2015
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
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
I enjoyed this more than the first book - until the ending. The story moves along rapidly with Ripley dodges various and increasing number challenges to protect an art scam. What I did not get was the acceptance of the characters when Ripley admits to being a murderer.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tom Ripley has grown up.

He is still a conman and a murderer, of course. But now, in place of the socially awkward, seething, repressed homosexual, there is a man of a certain suaveness, a man with an apparently healthy, loving, and sexual relationship with his wife, a man of leisure and taste with friends all over Europe. And instead of murdering in a rage, lashing out at men who confront him with that desire he won’t face, this time Tom can tell himself a plausible story that his crimes are
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 ...more
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
M.J. Johnson
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 ...more
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Carla Remy
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is from 1970 (though Tom sees a poster - in London or Paris, I forget which - for Romeo and Juliet which I assume is Zefferelli's, which came out in 1968). So probably the book takes place more like then. Tom is now in his early 30s
This is terrific, picking up Tom's story where he is married to a lovely French woman, Heloise, and living in a house known as Belle Ombre (which means Beautiful Shadow). Mr. Ripley is involved in an art forging ring of a dead painter, Derwatt. He does a murder,
Shay Dawn
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pg-13, mystery
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,
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...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
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
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.
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
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 ...more
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries, 18tbr
Psychopath Tom Ripley is enjoying his quiet life in the French countryside with his wife Helene, gardening, painting, reading, and being catered to by their housekeeper. When Tom’s income from an art forgery scheme is threatened, though, he returns to his old ways. He is totally unpredictable. But what Tom would do in an era of DNA testing I don’t know — come up with another scheme, I guess.
Lara Donnelly
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listen, I fucking LOVE idgaf Ripley. He's way more chill than in the first book. And his wife is great too. But Highsmith's endings, man. Every time, I just shout "WHAT? That's IT?" and slam the book down on the couch.

So I guess that means it's on to the next one.
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.
Patricia Highsmith’s creepiest character, Tom Ripley is seen here a few years after the events of The Talented Mr. Ripley, doing more of what he’s known for: being a cultured sociopath. No spoilers, but this is so well done. I look forward to the final three books in the Ripley series.
Diana H.
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not convinced by his last plan...very complicated and unrealistic. How can Ripley ACTUALLY get out of it this time??
Nov 16, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jan 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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
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 ...more
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 ...more
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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

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)
“Honestly, I don't understand why people get so worked up about a little murder!” 17 likes
“An artist does things naturally, without effort. Some power guides his hand. A forger struggles, and if he succeeds, it is a genuine achievement.” 0 likes
More quotes…