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The Mist In The Mirror Paperback – 2 Sep 1999

3.8 out of 5 stars 97 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: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,968 in Books (See Top 100 in 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

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A real good old fashioned ghost story told in true Susan Hill style. The tale of gentleman James Monmouth, who on his return to England (after living abroad for most of his life), is keen to research the life of mysterious English explorer Conrad Vale who he has long admired. Throughout his research however, he starts to discover hints of his own long lost childhood in England and the clues are in the ghostly visions that have been apparent to him since he stepped off the ship. SH's descriptions are so brilliantly executed, never rambling and always relevant. The chill of a London winter and the dismal courts and yards of the metropolis are so vividly described you can almost breathe in the sights and sounds. Wouldn't say that the story is as good as The Woman in Black, but most beautifully written all the same. The sort of book you would want to curl up and read on a cold winters night.
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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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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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Format: Paperback
Comparison with The Woman in Black is inevitable, and unfortunately The Mist in the Mirror is not quite in the same class.

The reason? Well, to echo most other reviewers, I feel Susan Hill missed a great chance to turn out a fantastic ghost story by copping out on the ending.

For instance, there's Vane standing in the chapel, heralding (so I thought) a terrifying and spine tingling climax, and.......? He's not mentioned again. Too many loose ends generally.

It's almost as if SH got fed up after 180 - odd pages and decided to finish off the story there and then, any which way.

Having slated the ending, I must clarify that the rest of the book is very exciting. Lashings of Victorian atmosphere and some genuinely scary moments. I'm glad I read it and would recommend to others, but with a note of warning over the disappointing ending.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The narrative of The Mist in the Mirror follows the story of James Monmouth in his search for details regarding the mysterious traveller Conrad Vane. As he delves deeper and begins to uncover cryptic clues, Monmouth starts to discover his past may actually be linked to Vane in some sinister way. Full of atmosphere and vivid haunting prose this is a work of subtle elegance, building slowly and deliciously before the final chilling revelations. Once again Susan Hall creates a superb ghost story that stands alongside her equally impressive works such as The Woman in Black and The Man in the Picture.
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