The hunter and the hunted

Libreria Marciana, Venice CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia Commons

Those Who Walk Away
by Patricia Highsmith,
introduction by Joan Schenkar.
Virago Modern Classics, 2014 (1967).

His room was simple and clean and had a view through its tall windows of Giudecca across the water and, directly below, of the small canal that went along one side of the pensione.

Chapter 2

In the late 1990s we stayed a night in Venice at the Pensione Seguso, possibly where Patricia Highsmith may have stayed late in 1966 while researching this novel. So it was with the shock of recognition that the view the fictional Ray Garrett has from his room in the very same pensione is almost precisely that which we had some thirty years later.

And why is Ray staying here? He is trying to meet up with his father-in-law, Ed Coleman, to explain how he feels about the suicide in Mallorca of his wife Peggy, Ed’s daughter, for which the older man blames Ray with an intense resentment that borders on and then tips over into psychopathy.

The problem is that Ed has already made an attempt on Ray’s life when they’d met in Rome: what will Ray’s reception be like in Venice when he turns up alive and physically unharmed?

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