TITLE: THE MIST IN THE MIRROR
AUTHOR: SUSAN HILL
PUBLISHER: CHATTO & WINDUS
GENRE: HORROR & SUPERNATURAL FICTION / GHOST STORY
COVER TYPE: HARD BACK
BLURB FROM THE COVER
For the last twenty years Sir James Monmouth had been a gentleman adventurer, journeying all over the globe in the footsteps of his hero, the great pioneer Conrad Vale.
One rainy winter night, Sir James returns to London. Orphaned at the age of five, it is now time to find out more about his family and origins, and also to learn about the early years of Conrad Vale.
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 terrible past that binds him to his hero in ways he never could have imagined…
PLOT SUMMARY: James is determined to find out the truth about his past while following in the footsteps of his hero, Conrad Vane. He’s pursued by what appears to be the ghost of a young boy. His quest leads him to discover he’s an ancestor of Vane.
HIGHLIGHTS: I liked the way Hill created atmosphere in The Mist in the Mirror. The whole novel had a very creepy Victorian gothic atmosphere. I got caught up in The Mist in the Mirror. Her great writing pulled me along. I liked that I didn’t know where Hill was going to take me. The past couple of novels I’ve read have made it clear from the start what’s going to happen. I like the surprise element. The Mist in the Mirror gave me the chills and Hill managed to achieve this without being gross or adding unnecessary gore like a lot of writers would. The Mist in the Mirror was a great, old-fashioned ghost story. The kind I like best.
LOWLIGHTS: I didn’t enjoy The Mist in the Mirror as much as The Woman in Black. The Woman in Black is much creepier. The Mist in the Mirror was a little duller in the end. I expected it to be a lot better after what a good job Hill did with The Woman in Black. The ending really let down The Mist in the Mirror. Loose ends weren’t tied up. The creepy woman James glimpses behind the curtain is never explained. There’s no explanation for the mysterious mirror either. I don’t like authors to tell me everything but I like to be given enough hints to join the dots myself.
THE OPENING LINE
LONDON, AND the library of my Club, towards the end of an afternoon in late November, that bleak, dispiriting time of year when the golden Indian summer days that lingered on through October seem long gone, and it is yet too early to feel the approaching cheer of Christmas…
The Mist in the Mirror was an okay, traditional gothic ghost story. I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Woman in Black though. I might try to read more of Hill’s non ghost-story stuff. I can’t quite make up my mind if like her or not. I definitely like the way she writes. She’s great at creating atmosphere.