BOOK REVIEW: The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill

Posted 13 March, 2012 by Kristilyn in Horror, Mystery-Suspense, Novella / 0 Comments

Released: January 9, 2012 (Vintage Books)
Source: Purchased
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A classic ghost story: the chilling tale of a menacing specter haunting a small English town. Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford–a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway–to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow’s house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images–a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black.

My Thoughts

I’ve been finding, in my quest for the scariest horror read, that movies scare me more than books. I really think that books should come with a soundtrack because even as I was watching the movie trailer for Susan Hill’s book, The Woman in Black, I was getting freaked out. After seeing the trailer, I knew I had to read the book because it looked delightfully thrilling and just what I was looking for.

Though, as I read through the book’s pages, I realized that I should stick to movies because they’re just creepier than any book will be. Does that make me a bad reader?

Regardless, I defend my idea: if someday in the future, everyone read at the same pace, maybe books should come with soundtracks to listen to as you read, especially horror books because I think that would really amp up the horror.

But I digress. This is a book review, isn’t it?

The Woman In Black is a story told by Arthur Kipps as he recalls events that happened when he stayed at an old house while going through the papers of its deceased owner. Things start to happen and he starts seeing things and hearing things that are definitely not of this world.

While I didn’t find this book particularly scary, I did find it somewhat creepy. The atmosphere is spine-chilling and the narrative definitely sucks the reader in.

Of course, that being said, it wasn’t my favourite read. I felt certain parts dragged the short novel down and I ended the book having wanted more from the story. While it had its creepy moments, I thought that it was lacking in suspense and was a wee biti predictable.

I do look forward to seeing the movie as I’m eager to see Daniel Radcliff in a non-Harry Potter role.


© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.


About Kristilyn

Kristilyn is a Canadian book blogger, music listener & creator, proud mama, and general lover of life. Her necessities include fuzzy socks, a library full of good books, a fully charged Kindle, copious amounts of tea, and chocolate. Swoon-worthy book boys are also welcome.


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