This is the second time I have read this book. The first was in 2000, and was inspired by the 1999 film adaptation directed by Anthony Minghella. Sufficient time had elapsed for me to have forgotten most of the detail of both the book and the film. I think this resulted in me enjoying it even more this time round. It's a compelling tale of how the opportunistic and amoral Tom Ripley takes advantage of situations. Tom Ripley is a deeply flawed individual, who - whilst clever and cunning - takes foolish risks and makes occasional mistakes. These ratchet up the tension for the reader.
The story is all told from Tom Ripley's perspective, and somehow, despite his reprehensible behaviour, Patricia Highsmith had me rooting for him. The book is full of insights into Ripley's character, including short flashbacks to his dysfunctional childhood that credibly help to explain his personality and behaviour.
As I was reading, I became very intrigued about Patricia Highsmith, and - on the basis of the biography on her Wikipedia page - can quite understand how she was able to conceive of a character like Ripley.
Ripley is a fantastic character, and this is a well written, psychological thriller.