Angleterre, début du XXe siècle. Par un mois de novembre froid et brumeux, Arthur Kipps, jeune avoué londonien, est dépêché dans le nord du pays pour assister aux funérailles d'Alice Drablow, 87 ans, puis trier ses papiers en vue d'organiser sa succession.À Crythin Gifford, village où Kipps pose ses valises, les habitants lui battent froid dès qu'il prononce le nom de feue Mme Drablow, unique occupante du Manoir des Marais, demeure isolée, battue par les vents et située sur une presqu'île uniquement accessible à marée basse.Lors de l'inhumation, dans une église quasi déserte, Arthur remarque la présence, un peu en retrait, d'une femme tout de noir vêtue, le visage émacié, comme rongée par une terrible maladie. Il l'aperçoit ensuite dans le cimetière, mais elle s'éclipse avant qu'il ait le temps de lui parler...Cette femme en noir, Arthur la verra de nouveau aux abords du manoir, une fois qu'il s'y sera installé pour commencer son travail. Mais se produisent alors nombre de phénomènes mystérieux qui ébranleront le jeune homme et feront vaciller sa raison...Comme il l'apprendra peu à peu, une malédiction plane sur ces lieux...
" C'est alors que je sentis une petite main se glisser dans ma main droite, comme si un enfant s'était matérialisé à côté de moi dans l'obscurité pour s'en saisir. Elle était fraîche et ses doigts se replièrent avec confiance dans ma paume. Nous restâmes ainsi pendant un moment, ma main d'homme serrant la toute petite main. Mais l'enfant était invisible... "Adam Snow, un libraire de livres anciens se perd dans la campagne anglaise et se retrouve dans le jardin d'une propriété qui semble abandonnée. Là, il ressent cette présence, menaçante...Roman fantastique, histoire de fantômes... Un conte dans la veine de La Dame en noir, un classique de la littérature anglaise.
Jack l'Éventreur s'est-il invité à Lafferton ? En vacances à Taransay, une petite île sauvage à l'ouest de l'Écosse, l'inspecteur Simon Serrailler se remet d'une opération difficile quand il est rappelé en urgence à Lafferton. Deux prostituées ont été retrouvées étranglées, et le temps qu'il revienne, une troisième est portée disparue. S'agit-il de l'oeuvre d'un pervers, de meurtres en série ? Ou ces disparitions n'ont-elles rien à voir les unes avec les autres ? Chaque piste mène à une impasse, la police piétine et la population de Lafferton vit dans la peur. Propulsé au coeur de l'enquête, Serrailler se retrouve personnellement impliqué lorsque Cat, sa propre soeur, devient la cible du meurtrier... " Un roman policier de Susan Hill est un événement attendu avec impatience par tous les lecteurs qui aiment les intrigues au sein desquelles le frisson et le suspense sont alliés à une tension psychologique et à une écriture d'orfèvre. " P. D. James
Late one summer evening, antiquarian bookseller Adam Snow is returning from a client visit when he takes a wrong turn. He stumbles across a derelict Edwardian house, and compelled by curiosity, approaches the door. Standing before the entrance, he feels the unmistakable sensation of a small cold hand creeping into his own, 'as if a child had taken hold of it'.
At first he is merely puzzled by the odd incident but then begins to suffer attacks of fear and panic, and is visited by nightmares. He is determined to learn more 'about the house and its once-magnificent, now overgrown garden but when he does so, he receives further, increasingly sinister, visits from the small hand.
The Classic English Ghost StoryArthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the sole inhabitant of Eel Marsh House. The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black - and her terrible purpose.
A little boy is snatched at the gate of his home while he waits for his lift to school.An ex-con struggling to go straight finds himself drawn back into a criminal ring.A young woman hovers between life and death.Detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler is called in to investigate. But with dead-ends mounting up and time running out, has he taken on a case so complex it threatens to defeat him?'Not all great novelists can write crime crime fiction but when one like Susan Hill does it the result is stunning.' Ruth Rendell
Colin. May. Frank. Berenice. The Prime children grew up in a bleak country farm house called The Beacon. Colin and Berenice married locally. May went to university in London, but came home within a year and never left again. Only Frank, quiet, watchful Frank, got away. He left for Fleet Street and a career in journalism but its the publication of a book about his childhood that brings the fame and money he craves - and tears his family apart.
A young school boy visiting his aunt's country house finds company and friendship with the gentle beekeeper and begins teaching the man to read, so that it seems nothing can ever intrude upon their closeness. A young country girl fights against becoming a downtrodden domestic skivvy like her dead mother, while another young girl reaches a delicate understanding with an elderly blind man as they walk along the beach together. On another beach a more sinister plot unfolds as a gang of boys plans the most wicked deed.
Tommy Carr was a kind man; Eve had been able to tell that after half an hour of knowing him. There had never been a day when he had not shown her some small kindness and even after the tragic death of their young daughter, their relationship remained as strong as before. Grief takes its toll however, and it's not surprising that by the following Christmas, Tommy is a shadow of his former self, with the look of death upon him.But what happens next is entirely unexpected, not least for the kind man...
On a deserted beach battered by rain, a group of boys plot a wicked deed. 'We'll shoot the crucifix,' Deano declares, but it is Mick who will carry out the act of vengeance and bear the consequences, for it was Mick's brother Charlie who suffered a horrible accident , leading to his death, whilst in the care of the priests at their school. Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection The Boy Who Taught the Beekeeper to Read.
Rima treasures the weekly routine she shares with her blind uncle; their walks along the beach, followed by cosy meals in a local cafe. Impressed by her uncle's intelligence and dedication to his work, most of all Rima is awed by his ability to hide his blindness from others, to live a normal life thanks to his strict routine. However, when her uncle confides in her a devastating change in his circumstances, Rima can only watch as his strictly-governed world crumbles, and a more vulnerable figure is revealed. Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection The Boy Who Taught the Beekeeper to Read.
Celibate, irreproachable and distinguished, Thomas Cavendish is in his mid-fifties and the obvious man to become Master of his college. But, walking by the river, Thomas sees a young girl standing on the bridge. It is an apocalyptic vision, one that alters Thomas's life irrevocably and tragically, but with the beauty and joy of a love never previously imagined.
Children are vanishing.The village of Lafferton is shattered.There are no witnesses and no leads - just a kidnapper at large.Then Detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler receives a call: a child has been snatched in Yorkshire. Has the abductor struck again? And will they find this child alive?'Not all great novelists can write crime fiction but when one like Susan Hill does the result is stunning' Ruth Rendell
PEOPLE ARE GOING MISSING. ONLY ONE THING LINKS THEIR CASES. THEY ALL DISAPPEAR ON THE HILL.A woman vanishes in the fog up on the Hill in Lafferton. The police have one lead - a pair of expensive cuff-links found in her flat, with a mysterious note attached to them.Then a young girl, an old man and even a dog disappear in quick succession in exactly the same place.Young policewoman Freya Graffham and Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler are given the task of unravelling the mystery. But can they find the Hill killer before he strikes again?'Not all great novelists can write crime fiction but when one like Susan Hill does the result is stunning' Ruth Rendell
Beekeeper and odd job man Mart May is befriended by a curious and lonely boy whilst tending to errands around the prestigious home of Lady Burnett. As the two begin to bond, the boy, James, discovers the secret of Mart's illiteracy and - startled and concerned - takes on the task of teaching his reluctant subject to read and write. Yet when the summer holidays end, the isolated world in which the characters have grown close is broken by a return to the normality of routine and convention. Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection The Boy Who Taught the Beekeeper to Read.
Introducing Detective Simon Serrailler... in the first two cases in Susan Hill's gripping crime seriesIn The Various Haunts of Men Detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler and a new member of the station, Detective Sergeant Freya Graffham investigate the disappearance of a local woman from the peaceful cathedral town of Lafferton. As more people vanish, Simon and Freya are forced to embark on a complicated mission to unravel the mystery and enter the mind of a killer.In The Pure in Heart Simon Serrailler is nursing a broken heart while trying to deal with a new and worrying case: the kidnapping of a young boy on his way to school. As the family of the missing boy falls apart, and more children are taken, the station - and Simon - begin to lose hope...
After just a year of close, loving marriage, Ruth has been widowed. Her beloved husband, Ben, has been killed in a tragic accident and Ruth is left, suddenly and totally bereft.Unable to share her sorrow and grief with Ben's family, who are dealing with their pain in their own way, Ruth becomes increasingly isolated, burying herself in her cottage in the countryside as the seasons change around her. Only Ben's young brother Jo, is able to reach out beyond his own grief, to offer Ruth the compassion which might reclaim her from her own devastating unhappiness.The result is a moving, lyrical exploration of love and loss, of grief and mourning, from a masterful writer.
At the far end of the long white gallery is a painting of a woman, in pale flowing clothes and lying on a sofa beside an open window. The muslin curtains billow out towards her like clouds. There is a touch of brilliant red, the ribbon on her hat. The rest is white, cream, palest grey. It is a painting which leads Flora on, beckoning her away from her childhood, her complaining, clinging mother, pert younger sister, and the confines of a small community, to a proud and self-reliant future. But later, this image is to prove the catalyst for the most signicant event in her life. Isolation, separation, solitude, betrayal. The shocks of life. The consolations and the beauty of death. A few piercing moments of absolute joy and perfect understanding. THE SERVICE OF CLOUDS is about these things, and also about love, loyalty, friendship, growing up and growing old.
A mysterious depiction of masked revellers at the Venice carnival hangs in the college rooms of Oliver's old professor in Cambridge. On this cold winter's night, its eerie secret is revealed by the ageing don. The dark art of the Venetian scene, instead of imitating life, has the power to entrap it. To stare into the painting is to play dangerously with the unseen demons it hides, and become the victim of its macabre beauty ...
Early one autumn afternoon in pursuit of an elusive book on her shelves, Susan Hill encountered dozens of others that she had never read, or forgotten she owned, or wanted to read for a second time. The discovery inspired her to embark on a year-long voyage through her books, forsaking new purchases in order to get to know her own collection again.
A book which is left on a shelf for a decade is a dead thing, but it is also a chrysalis, packed with the potential to burst into new life. Wandering through her house that day, Hill's eyes were opened to how much of that life was stored in her home, neglected for years. Howard's End is on the Landing charts the journey of one of the nation's most accomplished authors as she revisits the conversations, libraries and bookshelves of the past that have informed a lifetime of reading and writing.
How do you catch a killer who doesn't exist? One snowy night in the cathedral city of Lafferton, an old woman is dragged from her bed and strangled with a length of flex.DCS Simon Serrailler and his team search desperately for clues to her murderer. All they know is that the killer will strike again, and will once more leave the same tell-tale signature.Then they track down a name: Alan Keyes. But Alan Keyes has no birth certificate, no address, no job, no family, no passport, no dental records. Nothing. Their killer does not exist.'As addictive as Rankin' Scotsman
The remoter parts of the English Fens are forlorn, lost and damp even in the height of summer. At Iyot Lock, a large decaying house, two young cousins, Leonora and Edward, are parked for the summer with their ageing spinster aunt and her cruel housekeeper. At first the unpleasantness and petty meannesses appear simply spiteful, calculated to destroy Edward's equanimity. But when spoilt Leonora is not given the birthday present of a specific dolly that she wants, affairs inexorably take a much darker turn with terrifying, life-destroying consequences for everyone.
'I did not believe in ghosts'Few attend Mrs Alice Drablow's funeral, and not one blood relative amongst them. There are undertakers with shovels, of course, a local official who would rather be anywhere else, and one Mr Arthur Kipps, solicitor from London. He is to spend the night in Eel Marsh House, the place where the old recluse died amidst a sinking swamp, a blinding fog and a baleful mystery about which the townsfolk refuse to speak. Young Mr Kipps expects a boring evening alone sorting out paperwork and searching for Mrs Drablow's will. But when the high tide pens him in, what he finds - or rather what finds him - is something else entirely.In the 'Backstory' discover more classic ghost stories and some real-life ones too...Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
From the foggy streets of Victorian London to the eerie perfection of 1950s suburbia, the everyday is invaded by the evil otherworldly in this unforgettable collection of new ghost stories from the author of The Woman in Black.
In the title story, on a murky evening in a warmly lit club off St James, a bishop listens closely as a paranormal detective recounts his most memorable case, one whose horrifying denouement took place in that very building.
In 'The Front Room', a devoutly Christian mother tries to protect her children from the evil influence of their grandmother, both when she is alive and when she is dead.
A lonely boy finds a friend in 'Boy Number 21', but years later he is forced to question the nature of that friendship, and to ask whether ghosts can perish in fires.
This is Susan Hill at her best, telling characteristically flesh-creeping and startling tales of thwarted ambition, terrifying revenge and supernatural stirrings that will leave readers wide-awake long into the night.