Strangers on a Train - Patricia Highsmith

Two men randomly meet on a train. They are both fighting boredom and somehow Charles is very easy to talk to. Guy Haines ends up telling him all about his wife who cheated on him and is pregnant with another man´s child. With a little prodding from Charlie, Guy admits that he hates his wife. Charlie tells him he hates his father and begins to tell Guy about his plan for the perfect murder. His idea is that they kill for each other and no one would suspect either of them because they had no reason to kill people they didn´t know. Guy is horrified and quickly leaves thinking Charlie is just drunk. He was serious though as Guy finds out when he gets the call that his wife has been murdered. Charlie starts to call him and Guy realizes why.... Charlie wants him to finish the plan he had dreamed up.


When I first started reading this book I was intrigued by the story but not even half way I started to lose interest. The whole thing seemed so improbable. The more it went on the more outlandish it seemed. I made myself finish it to know how it ended but I found the discussion of murder in the first person very disturbing. Not my thing I guess.



Guy was not really much of a character.  He seemed like the perfect man in one sense with a great career but he had no backbone.  It seemed unreal that he had letters in his hand that would prove the other guy planned the murder of his own father and expected him to carry it out but he burned them.  Most of the time he acts like he hates Charlie but then he tells the police that he likes him and they are friends.  Oh, and even though Charlie gives him a gun to use he uses his own gun and then doesn´t want to throw it away.  How could this guy have made it through school to be an architect? Charlie, on the other hand is a spoiled rich kid that never grew up and always drunk.  I don´t understand how he is expected to come up with these clever plans to commit crimes and murder but then afterwards is so dumb to start wanting to spend time with the other guy.  


(show spoiler)