Wednesday, March 14, 2012

REVIEW: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

book cover of the woman in black by susan hill
Title: The Woman in Black
Author: Susan Hill
Date Published: First published in 1983
Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Horror, Paranormal
Page Count: 176 pages
Challenge: None
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I saw the trailer for the movie before I ever knew that this was a book, and immediately wanted to see it.  I learned it was a book shortly thereafter and went to three different bookstores trying t find it before I finally ordered offline.  I was surprised that they were making a movie out of it because it was so tiny, and I still haven't seen it, but I imagine that I will at some point.

Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming layer in London.  When one of their clients dies, Mrs. Alice Drablow, his employer sends him to Eel Marsh House to get her papers in order.  When Kipps arrives in town, he soon learns that no one really wants to help him and there is an unnatural fear of the house and the woman that lived in it.

This is a ghost story above all else.  I found myself struggling through the beginning, probably the first half, but then you really start to learn things about the house and the occupants, not to mention that Kipps gets to spend some time there and it starts to get far more interesting.  The atmosphere just gets darker and darker as the story goes on.

I think it is the setting above all else that really helps with this story.  Eel March House is a house at the end of a causeway, in the middle of a marsh that is completely unto itself during high tide.  There are random fogs that roll through in which you can't see but a few feet in front of you, and that's one of the things that makes it so scary.  Not even scary, just creepy.  As I was reading and we got further into the book and the story of the house I keept turning around and checking my door and hearing crazy things as I was reading.  If you can do that, that's the mark of a good story.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  Its a quick read, even if it does drag through the beginning in my opinion.  I'd recommend it to those that like horror and ghost stories and I give it a solid 3.5 out of 5.

Think you might want to give this book a try? Read other reviews or order from Amazon.com   The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

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