The Ripley novels are classic thrillers; they follow Tom Ripley, a cold, conscience-less young man, as he advances up the social ladder by any means necessary.
The fact that I wasn’t emotionally attached to any of the characters didn’t stop me from enjoying it and wanting to keep reading, which I think is a good example of how fantastic a writer Highsmith is. She writes with skill and precision, making the book feel very stylish.
Having said that, her writing style isn’t very distinctive, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing considering the genre. It’s such a plot-based book (and the plot is excellent) that a more complicated writing style could distract from the story.
My only criticism would be that it sometimes gets a bit bogged down with plot details- what time and date specific events happened, who said what to whom, etc- but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book.
Overall, it was just a really good thriller. I mean, it’s considered a classic of the genre for a reason. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re looking for a poignant or emotional read, but if you know you like thrillers and crime novels, you’ll love it.