Book Review: The Woman in Black and Other Ghost Stories by Susan Hill

I don’t typically read a book after I’ve seen a movie, unless it can’t be avoided. How does this happen one may ask. Well in this case I wasn’t aware of the novel before I saw the movie some years ago.

The Woman in Black is one of my genuinely favourite movies with the perfect mix of suspense and history, my kind of story.

When I saw the book in WH Smith I knew I had to have it. Whether it was just a play by play of the movie or not, I was going to read it and relish the story over again. What proceeded to happen completely shocked and elated me. This wasn’t just The Woman in Black, but so completely different that they could be two entities that just happen to have the same people in the same places.

The book (as in most cases) is much better than the movie. I love how the story really just sucks you in. Whilst the movie is years old and the book even old, I still won’t divulge any plot twists or theories because I wouldn’t want someone to do it to me.

Now this novel wasn’t just one story but had several within its bind. The story of Dolly at Iyot Lock, Printer’s Devil Court and The Man in the Picture were incredible. They all were completely different from one another, all equally capturing my attention so that I’d read on for hours well into the night and well past my bed time.

I have to admit out of all the stories I can’t choose one favourite because they are all very good, but I did love The Man in the Picture was the one that captured me most. I’m not sure if it is because I could see Cambridge in my minds eye, at the turn of the century in such English weather conditions or if it was just the suspense that captured me.

What I do know is that Susan Hill is now one of my favourite authors. Her ghost stories rival some of my all time favourites. Not just for their scare factor but for the fact they have actual storylines, characters you love (or hate) and plots you’re dying to find out the end to.



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