This is perhaps less known than some of her other novels such as the Ripley novels and Carol, her second book recently made into an Oscar-nominated film. It’s a psychological thriller set in the New Jersey /Pennsylvania area of the US in the fifties.
The main character Robert Forster is trying to build a new life after a bad relationship breaks down and is drawn towards a young woman after observing her and her boyfriend in her house in an isolated rural area. He becomes obsessed with her, spying on her through the houses’ un-curtained windows. She gradually develops a suspicion that there is a lurker outside and tells her partner.
Eventually he, Forster, makes his presence known but then makes up a weak excuse for being there which the girl half believes. Nevertheless they gradually form a relationship and she splits with her boyfriend. He, the boyfriend, has suspicions about the identity of the voyeur which leads to a confrontation between him and Forster.
The story continues with numerous twists involving Forster’s ex-wife, the girls’ family and later involving a suggestion of murder. As with many of her novels none of the main characters emerge without personal flaws. It’s an uncomfortable but compelling story full of obsession and jealousy like a lot of her books. A good read.
You can reserve a copy of The Cry of the Owl on South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.