Monday, February 23, 2009
Susan Hill's THE MAN IN THE PICTURE in Los Angeles Times
Nick Owchar's "Siren's Call" column in The Los Angeles Times features the unlikely pairing of Susan Hill, author of The Man in the Picture and the forthcomimg The Risk of Darkness and the great H.P. Lovecraft. Looking at Hill's rceent ghost story The Man in the Picture, Owchar asserts: "Hill's story is a clear descendant of Henry James' ghost stories and their familiar elements -- the narrator with an odd tale to tell, the English infatuation with Italy, even the hearth fire -- without feeling derivative; and the use of so many hoary, gothic cliches (a hidden painting whose image alters under a supernatural hand) is a cross between "Dorian Gray" and "The Twilight Zone."And yet the terrain feels fresh and all Hill's own. . . Hill is a successful mystery writer living in England who also owns a small publishing house. A writer noted for her psychological detective stories -- The Risk of Darkness, featuring inspector Simon Serrailler, will be published next month -- she seems the model of that writer who has a serene, bookish, rustic life (she and her Shakespeare scholar husband live in the North Cotswold countryside) while her prose is full of violent, unsettled passions and disturbing situations."