Guest Review: The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill
Fiction , Guest Posts , Latest Posts / April 26, 2012

Since Susan Hill’s most famous ghost story ‘The Woman in Black’ has enjoyed such success as a long-running theatrical production and now as a movie by the iconic Hammer Horror Films, it seems timely to examine some of her lesser known ghostly tales. There are several others, ‘The Mist in the Mirror’ ‘The Small Hand’ and this, perhaps the least well known, ‘The Man in the Picture’. It is a short work, first published as a small hardback at only 145 pages. Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic format. The tale begins when Oliver visits his old tutor at Cambridge, Theo Parmitter, and is told a strange story. In the apartment of the professor, there is a late eighteenth century painting of Venice – a mysterious depiction of masked revellers at a night-time masked festival around the canals, lit by torchlight. One figure looks out of the scene at the viewer, frightened and beseeching, while the others continue in their revelry. On this cold winter’s night, Oliver’s professor has decided to reveal an eerie secret. Though strangely repelled by it, he admits that the painting has an inexplicable hold over him. He has twice been offered whatever price he would name for…

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