....is a young man of no means, and expensive tastes, and his nerveless, conscienceless progression is traced from the time when Tom Ripley is sent to Italy to retrieve an expatriate son, Dickie Greenleaf. Ripley attaches himself to Dickie, is annoyed by the adhesive Marge who is in love with Dickie and wary of Tom, and finally when Dickie's friendship cools he kills him and assumes his identity. For several months he lives comfortably on Dickie's income, but a former friend jeopardizes his new security, and he is forced to kill again. This time not only the police- but Marge and Dickie's father are alerted; Tom is forced to assume his old identity but his resilient resourcefulness keeps him immune. The virtuosity here- more than anything else-will pin you to the page.