Ira Levin may be the finest author in a thriller, but recent events would suggest that the native of Manhattan would expose the dark side of American society. He may have scoffed at the suggestion that he was a seer, as political and/or social commentary don't have a place in the thriller genre. However, Levin may be telling too much about the suburb. It's the American Dream, but external factors would distort it.
"A Kiss Before Dying" was Levin's debut novel and an instant crime classic. Bud Collins was a World War II hero, a young man who had a bright future ahead of him. He was also a social climber, a murderer as well. Levin's description of Collins may allude to the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP), white Americans of British ancestry who wield social and political power. And Collins wanted to be like one of them. This could be a huge issue in Great Britain, but America was a modern-day counterpart of Periclean Athens. Levin was able to find a pothole or two, though. Anyone who saw the big-screen adaptation (starring Robert Wagner) and/or remake (starring Matt Dillon) would know that Collins faced the music sooner or later, but his story left a bitter taste to the viewers. Could there be a real-life Bud Collins somewhere? Levin might be hinting at the insular mindset, and there should be no reason for offense. The recent election showed that there was hardly change on that aspect.
"The Boys from Brazil" was a disturbing tale of Dr. Josef Mengele, the so-called Angel of Death, and his attempt to build the Fourth Reich. Levin had a factual basis on this premise, as many Nazi officers fled Europe before the end of the war and managed to hide in South America for decades. The continent, or many parts of it, was a backwater back then, and Mengele had a diabolical plan of bringing Hitler back to life. It won't be cloning, but rather tens of young boys having similar life experience to the Führer. Enter Yakov Liebermann, a Nazi hunter who was only interested in this case. Levin exposed the collective cowardice of authorities worldwide, even forgetting the likes of Liebermann. (Yakov Liebermann was loosely based from Simon Wiesenthal.) But the shocking climax could unsettle readers. Mengele's plan almost succeeded in a farming community in New England. Levin could have used Germany or the nearby countries in the central part of Europe. But the East Coast would tell volumes.
Levin's most popular work would be "Rosemary's Baby", about a Satanic coven inhabiting New York. It was a terrifying description of how the titular character became helpless in her (pregnant) situation, as she was too late to find out that her husband was part of this diabolic conspiracy. Levin didn't like how this novel inspired "The Exorcist", as he intended this Satanic excursion to allude to another dark aspect in urban America. Make a guess.
It's curious to note that all of Levin's stories are set in the Upper East. New York is the largest city in America. The seat of power is located in Washington, D.C. New England is once the bastion of Transcendentalism. There's so much history and prestige in it, yet there will be an unpleasant aspect. This leads to the Stepford Wives, but Jordan Peele beat everyone to it.