by Lucy Walton |
Like all of Susan Hill's ghost stories you can devour them in one sitting. This one is no exception!
The story is set on a winter’s night Theo, a graduate from Cambridge tells his friend and previous student Oliver about the mystery that surrounds the painting that hangs on the wall. The scene depicted is of a Venice street party, with masked celebrators, however it is not only the guests that hold a secret. By being told about the painting Oliver is letting himself in for far more than he bargained for. That painting is more than a mere decoration for a wall; it has the power to seek its revenge.
Hill's novels often have a theme of revenge, take The Woman in Black for instance and the fear that surrounds steely eyed portraits is taken to another level in this book with Hill's effortless expertise in this genre. Her writing is reminiscent of the great ghost story writers of our time such as MR James, using all of the normally clichéd references to hauntings and turning them on their heads to offer her unique twist to the quintessential ghost story.
Well worth an evening in by the fire with the lights turned down low!