Those Who Walk Away by Patricia Highsmith and The Geneva Trap by Stella Rimington


Those Who Walk Away

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. I’ve seen this referred to somewhat apologetically as being from an experimental period of development in her writing and then again, as a masterpiece.

Seriously? The only way this could be considered a masterpiece was if Stella Rimington were able to add it to her oeuvre. But then it wouldn’t be so much as masterpiece as a miracle. Some sort of proof of the existence of God.

The Geneva Trap

This is so badly written, I’m astonished to find it is a late number in a series. People tried one and came back for more? I managed twenty pages, each more excruciating than the one before.

On the back cover the Wall Street Journal is quoted as saying the author makes a bid for the ranks of Le Carre, Greene etc. That’s like saying McDonalds is making a bid for a Michelin star.

Clearly the woman doesn’t know Geneva. She has the dude who kicks the book off wondering whether to stay home to have defrosted pizza for dinner or go out to a local cafe for something more interesting. Everybody knows there is nothing more interesting to eat in Geneva than defrosted pizza.

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3 thoughts on “Those Who Walk Away by Patricia Highsmith and The Geneva Trap by Stella Rimington

  1. You are so picky – I unhesitatingly filed “The Geneva Trap” as so-bad-it’s-good. I found something to groan and curse over in every chapter – sometimes more than once on a page! The terrible writing, the ridiculous, stereotypical characters, the amateurish fact-checking, the earnest attempts at political correctness and grrrl power, and, above all, the mixed metaphors. Buy a copy and a red felt-tip pen and have some fun! And then go and watch “The Hobbit 3”

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