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The Mist In The Mirror [Hardcover]

Susan Hill
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

25 Oct 2012

For the last twenty years Sir James Monmouth has been a gentleman adventurer, journeying all over the globe in the footsteps of his hero, the great pioneering traveller Conrad Vane.

One rainy winter night, Sir James returns to London. Orphaned at five, it is now time to find out more about his family and origins, and also to learn about the early years of Conrad Vane.

But at every turn James is warned off his investigation into Conrad Vane. Do these warnings explain his flashes of intense fear and feelings of being watched? And what of the boy who has started haunting his every step and the mysterious mirror with its inexplicable reflections?

Eventually, Sir James's quest leads him to the old lady of Kittiscar Hall, and deep into a past that binds him to his hero in ways he never could have imagined.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (25 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701187867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701187866
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 293,693 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


"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)

"This is a novel for readers who enjoy a good tale that is well told, and who find that nothing chills the blood as effectively as an old-fashioned, chain-rattling ghostly villain" (The Times)

"If sometimes you find yourself in a secondhand bookshop fingering the spines of forgotten 19th century novels looking for ghouls and murder and vice, halt your search: for in a Susan Hill there are enough graveyards in which to lose yourself entirely" (Daily Mail)

Book Description

A beautiful gift edition hardback of a classic ghost story, by the author of the The Woman in Black

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A chilling read 6 Dec 2006
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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66 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I wanted more!!! 24 Sep 2006
By Lilly Penhaligon VINE VOICE
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Goosebumps on goosebumps.. 24 Sep 2010
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
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mist in the Mirror and Gothic 22 Nov 2004
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy To Like, Hard To Love. 25 Sep 2008
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. Cue swirling mists, dark rain-soaked cobblestones, unfriendly innkeepers (aren't they always), cries in the night and half seen apparitions at the end of corridors.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a great story.
Published 12 days ago by E. Wilmot
4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner by Susan Hill
This is another creepy book by Susan Hill and the story builds up layer by layer. As with all Susan Hill's novels I felt the hairs starting to stand up on my neck at times. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Terrier girl
3.0 out of 5 stars Book grades
Book rated as very good however the back cover was bent so i would have graded as good
Picky i know !!
Published 3 months ago by Susie Q
1.0 out of 5 stars avid reader
I have read her previous book the woman in black and that's why I got this one, the story seemed very incomplete and when the climax arrived. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kanwal Masood
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read for a winter's night
3.5/5 3.5/5 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... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Luanne Ollivier
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice old fashioned tale for a dark winter evening
I am liking this book very much, not finished it yet, but close. It's typical Susan Hill. I like her short stories - I like her Serrailler series too - she writes in an elegant and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Timothy Blea
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Fantastic book, brilliant story line and an amazing read to lose yourself within when you have the time to immerse yourself in a good book
Published 8 months ago by Bill Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Susan Hill No 1 fan
I Loved Woman in Black and this book is another well written atmospheric classic.
A must for Susan Hill fans.
Published 9 months ago by Rodrigitta
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
Long-winded, long drawn out, any suspense evaporated after the first few pages. I kept on reading because I thought something of faint interest might happen. It didn't. Read more
Published 9 months ago by ann perkins
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mist in the Mirror
As with the previous stories I have read by this author, "The Mist in the Mirror" was a well written, atmospheric tale that drew me in. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
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