With the savage humor of Evelyn Waugh and the macabre sensibility of Edgar Allan Poe, Patricia Highsmith brought a distinct twentieth-century acuteness to her prolific body of fiction. In her more than twenty novels, psychopaths lie in wait amid the milieu of the mundane, in the neighbor clipping the hedges or the spouse asleep next to you at night.
Now, Norton continues the revival of this noir genius with another of her lost masterpieces: a later work from 1983, People Who Knock on the Door, is a tale about blind faith and the slippery notion of justice that lies beneath the peculiarly American veneer of righteousness. This novel, out of print for years, again attests to Highsmith's reputation as "the poet of apprehension" (Graham Greene).
Third-person Highsmith, March 23, 2003 Reviewer: vortex87 from Picnic Point, NSW, Australia This is an interesting work, if you're familiar with other Patricia Highsmith novels - and by "interesting," it is that it's not technically a crime novel (i.e., it's not the major theme of the novel), it's another display of the range of her capabilities, rather; also, that when the crime is committed, it's not from the person from whom we're watching the events through - it's sort of a third-person crime, in this way. And not for the usual reason. (I'll leave it there so that, even though another reviewer has told you who the killer is, the novel hasn't been completely blown for you.) "People Who Knock on the Door" is still a very readable novel, since the differences don't really detract from the reading - it has the same storytelling style of other Highsmith novels, and is not a labor to read for it. If you're looking for a DEEP WATER/THIS SWEET SICKNESS-esque suburban psychopath tale, you may find it slow and ultimately disappointing. (It is, however, rather like EDITH'S DIARY.) But if you aren't, read on!