The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955) is a psychological thriller novel by Patricia Highsmith. This novel first introduced the character of Tom Ripley who returns in the novels Ripley Under Ground, Ripley's Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley and Ripley Under Water. The five novels are known collectively as the Ripliad.
Tom Ripley is a young man struggling to make a living in New York City with no prospects other than a talent to survive by being willing to do whatever is required. When approached by shipping magnate Herbert Greenleaf to travel to Italy to persuade Greenleaf's errant son, Dickie, to return to the United States and join the family business, Ripley comes to see this as a rare open-ended opportunity.
Shortly after his arrival in Italy Ripley meets Greenleaf and his American girlfriend Marge Sherwood. Although Tom ingratiates himself with Dickie, Marge doesn't seem to like Ripley very much. Marge is in love with Dickie who is close with her but determinedly noncommital about a lasting relationship. As Tom and Dickie spend more time together Marge feels left out and begins insinuating to Dickie that Ripley is gay. Tom then surprises Dickie in his bedroom dressed up in...