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The man in the picture : a ghost story
Hill, Susan
Adult Fiction HILL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Hill (The Woman in Black) crafts an old-school spooker in this atmospheric tale of a sinister painting imbued with the vengeful spirit of a former owner. The painting, owned by retired Cambridge don Theo Parmitter, catches the eye of a visiting former student who's intrigued by its depiction of an 18th-century Venetian carnival scene and a figure in the foreground who looks anachronistically modern. The student's questions extract from Theo the strange story of how he won it at auction and the even stranger tale of the bidder he beat: the elderly Lady Hawdon, who claims that the man in the picture is her husband, imprisoned in the painting through the designs of a jilted lover who gave it to them as a wedding present. Hill manipulates the gothic darkness of her story with great dexterity and subtlety, faltering only at its awkwardly executed finish. Regardless, her tale is a commendable exercise in the tradition of the antiquarian ghost story. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

In her new novella, British writer Hill (The Various Haunts of Men) delivers another captivating, classically Victorian gothic tale of horror. Similar in structure and ambiance to her highly successful The Woman in Black, written 25 years ago and staged as a play for 18 years in London's West End, this story is good but falls short of its predecessor's spookiness. The plot revolves around a highly regarded Cambridge professor and the mysterious painting of masked Venetian carnival goers hanging in his apartment. The painting has a macabre secret that cryptically draws in viewers, almost as if it were having a supernatural effect. Reminiscent of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, Hill's quick, refreshing, old-fashioned ghost story is just in time for Halloween. Recommended for general fiction collections.--Carolann Curry, Mercer Univ. Medical Lib., Macon, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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