Monday, February 10, 2014

The Mist in the Mirror - Susan Hill

I'm a dedicated fan of Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler detective series. but it was only on looking at the author's website that I realized she was the author of The Woman in Black - a classic ghost tale that has been made into a stage play (opened in 1989 and is still running) as well as a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Vintage Books has been re-releasing some of these earlier works. Last year, I enjoyed The Small Hand and Dolly. (my review) The latest reissue is The Mist in the Mirror.

Sir James Monmouth is an aged member of a gentleman's club in London. After a night's discussion of ghosts by some members, Sir James passes a young member "an account of certain - events."

The events are from Monmouth's life. After travelling the world for many years, following the footsteps of an explorer named Vane, Sir James decides to head back to England. He proposes to write a book about Vane.  But almost immediately on his arrival, he begins seeing a young boy  - a boy no one else sees. And everywhere he turns, he is warned against pursuing his book.....

The reader of Monmouth's story "intended to read for an hour at most, expecting drowsiness to overtake me again, but I became so engrossed in the story that unfolded before me that I rapidly forgot all thought of the time, or my present surroundings."

As did this reader. Hill writes the most delicious stories - atmospheric with slow building tension that increases with every page turned. And all accomplished without overt gore and violence. Just wonderfully wrought words that slowly build time, place and tension with every page. Dusty libraries, forgotten rooms, glimpses of things from the corner of one's eye, suspicious townsfolk and more.....

Novella sized at 224 pages, The Mist in the Mirror was a good read for a snowy winter's night. Read an excerpt of The Mist in the Mirror.

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