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The Mist In The Mirror Paperback – 2 Sep 1999

80 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (2 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099284367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099284369
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Hill is a prize-winning novelist, having been awarded the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham and John Llewelyn Rhys awards, as well as having been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She wrote Mrs de Winter, the bestselling sequel to Rebecca, and the ghost story The Woman in Black, which was adapted for the stage and became a great success in the West End. Her books include a collection of exquisite short stories, The Boy Who Taught the Beekeeper to Read, and the highly successful crime novel series about the detective Simon Serrailler. Susan Hill lives in Gloucestershire, where she runs her own small publishing firm, Long Barn Books.

Product Description

Review

"Thoroughly frightening" (Daily Telegraph)

"Chills the blood" (The Times)

"Reader beware. When you turn the last page of Susan Hill’s ghost story, you do not just close the book but emerge with an icy shiver" (Daily Mail)

"Psychologically astute and disturbing in its ambiguities, its impossible to resist the manipulative power of this finely constructed tale" (Financial Times)

"Chock-full of dimness, murk, moonlight, mystification and melancholy" (Independent)

Book Description

A terrifying ghost story, by the author of the The Woman in Black

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By MYSTICSHAZ on 6 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback
The first Susan Hill book I ever read was the Woman in Black. Her talent for gripping the reader from the word go is, in my opinion, unrivalled. The Mist in the Mirror is one of those books you just can't put down and you become totally absorbed in the story from the very first page. The characters and the scenes just come alive. Each chapter is more un-nerving than the last - it's one of the most chilling books you'll ever read.

I agree with some of the other reviewers about the ending - you do feel a little cheated, but the book is so enthralling, it more than makes up for it.
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69 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Lilly Penhaligon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
As soon as I found out that Susan Hill had written another ghost story, I literally ran to my nearest Waterstones to grab a copy. Having been well and truly terrified to the core by the Woman In Black, I couldn't wait to experience the same thrills which I expected from the Mist in the Mirror. In some ways, I wasn't disappointed. Susan Hill has the uncanny knack of being able to describe in vivid (and some disturbing) the stuff of nightmares. I felt trapped in the claustrophobic, winding, pitch black halls of the old school in Alton, felt genuinely unnerved by the account of what happened to the protagonist, James Monmouth, when he visited the Old Library in the dead of night (NO WAY would I have gone there at that time, not for a million pounds) and felt completely uneasy at the descriptions of the malevolent presence and the feeling of being watched. Truly scary, unnerving stuff. Fans of gory horror beware, this book relies completely on the supernatural - there is no gore. Hill is the master ghost story-teller - she knows exactly how to prey on the all the senses and knows how to unravel a mystery slowly but surely - this is what makes books like the Mist in the Mirror and the Woman in Black completely addictive - you will keep reading even though the hairs on the back of your neck will be standing from page one.

The only reason this gets a 4 and not a 5 was because of the ending. There were too many unanswered questions - who WAS the old woman he saw at the Cross Keys Inn? What WAS IT behind the curtain adn the locked door that terrified Monmouth so much that he dare not look? What was the secret of the dreaded mirror and why did it appear in several of the places that Monmouth visited...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lovely Treez TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
It's hard for an author to match a perfect ghost story like The Woman in Black but here, Susan Hill again manages to recreate the chilling atmosphere of a subtly woven Gothic tale. Sir James Monmouth returns to England having spent most of his life abroad in exotic climes, following in the footsteps of his hero, the intrepid explorer Conrad Vane. He was orphaned at the age of five and has no recollection of his childhood in England nor any family to fill in the blanks in his history. Keen to settle down in England and have a focus in life, he embarks on research into the life of Conrad Vane with a view to publishing his findings. However, every time he seems to get closer to finding out more about Vane, the man, he is warned off with vague intimations as to the dark, evil side of the man he has idolised. He is haunted by a waif like boy whose melancholy sobs and doleful countenance fill him with great sadness. He sees the frightening apparition of an old woman behind a curtain

I saw the black pits of her eyes with a pin-prick gleam at their centre, and a swarthiness and greasiness about her skin; I saw her hands laid on top of one another, old, scrawny, claw-like hands they seemed to me; and the flash from a spark from jewelled or enamelled ring.

Susan Hill excells at the slow-build up of tension and terror which gives the reader goosebumps on their goosebumps. The atmosphere is wonderfully gothic from the opening description of dreary, rainswept Victorian London to the sinister, shaded cloisters of a public school to the windswept moors of the North complete with abandoned villages and a dilapidated country house. In just 180 pages you are taken on a rollercoaster journey with ever-increasing thrills and twists.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Avi Haffner on 22 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
The Mist in the Mirror is one of the most archetypally Gothic books of modern times, so much so that it is almost Gothic in excess. Set in the labyrinthine streets of London and the bleakly sublime moors of the north, it utilises both aspects of a gothic setting to great effect.
The effect of Conrad Vane and the spectral young boy are also deeply disturbing, which has prompted its label as a 'ghost story'. What is interesting though, is that The Mist in the Mirror brings together the ghost story and the gothic tradition (which are not the same) to create a chilling impact.
Overall, this is a very interesting yet disturbing read. It is a little weak in comparison with her other works, notably 'The Woman in Black', but compulsive reading nevertheless.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By P. Smith on 25 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that the Susan Hill novel The Woman in Black (and the superlative ITV adaptation) was one of the defining moments in my love affair with the Ghost Story. I can honestly say it stayed with me for years and as any fan of the genre will tell you, that's harder than you might think when you read a good deal of literary ghost stories. So understandably when I came to The Mist in the Mirror the freight of expectation was heavy, and for the most part I wasn't disappointed. Any readers thinking they're in for a similar experience to The Woman in Black however, most definitely will be. Unfortunately The Mist in the Mirror is rather less than the sum of its parts.

I think there are few writers who can conjure that Victorian spirit (no pun intended) Like Susan Hill. Almost immediately you're right in the thick of it; James Monmouth, an Englishman raised in Africa bequeaths a manuscript to an acquaintance at his club. What follows is thoroughly entertaining, well written but not necessarily frightening or ultimately very satisfying.

Obsessed with the travels of the explorer Conrad Vane, Monmouth returns to England after years of tracing the mysterious adventurer's footsteps. Fresh off the boat he begins researching Vane's history and his own, having no memory of his childhood in England.
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