read this in one sitting on the train from Portland to Seattle. I don't know why it has not occurred to me before how much Bowles' style is like Patricia Highsmith. This story, about a couple traveling in Central America and meeting a charming but disturbed young man, has all the hallmarks of Highsmith's work: mounting tension, characters mistrusting their own intuition, the randomness of the crime (yep, it could have been you!), and general creepiness in the midst of normal everyday life. One difference though is that Highsmith often encourages a repugnant liking of the criminal and Bowles doesn't do that. Bowle's stories are about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.