Friday, February 03, 2012

Susan Hill, The Woman in Black, and A Question of Identity

Hogwarts and horror fans rejoice. Today brings the US premiere of the first post-Potter Daniel Radcliffe film project, director James Watkins’ The Woman in Black, which is the latest slice of brooding Gothic terror from the recently reincarnated legendary British horror factory Hammer Films. Early reviews appear promising, and while we’re all curious to see whether or not Radcliffe can deliver on his promise to show audiences a more mature side in his first adult feature, at Overlook we’re even more excited to see how Susan Hill’s classic story will be translated to the big screen. If this TV spot is to be trusted, we’re in store for the “scariest film of the year.”

Susan Hill is the author of the 1983 ghost story, The Woman in Black, which serves as the basis of Hammer’s new adaptation as well as London’s long-running West End play of the same name. Hill is also the writer behind the internationally lauded Simon Serrailler detective series published by Overlook, which spans six riveting mysteries set in the fictional town of Lafferton (and would in our opinion also make for a great movie franchise). Her latest Serrailler novel, The Betrayal of Trust, was released to great acclaim last November and touted as, “a timeless panorama of life and death in an English town” by The Washington Post. Hill’s work has received praise from genre heavy-hitters including P.D. James and Ruth Rendell, who wrote, “Not all great novelists can write crime fiction, but when one like Susan Hill does it, the result is stunning.”

Last week we were thrilled to announce the acquisition of A Question of Identity, the seventh book in the Chief Inspector Serrailler series, with books eight through ten to follow. A Question of Identity is scheduled for release in fall 2012, which should give first time readers ample time to catch up on books one through six: The Various Haunts of Men, The Pure in Heart, The Risk of Darkness, The Vows of Silence, The Shadows in the Street, and The Betrayal of Trust.

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