Monday, 14 April 2014
The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill
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....
This was an extremely easy short read, that I read in less than 90 minutes. Well written and atmospheric, this gothic ghost story keeps you engaged but on the whole I found it a tad predictable. It didn't send the chills down my spine as I never find ghost style stories really chilling.
Would you be worried if the subject of a painting appeared to be looking straight at you? It wouldn't bother me but it did worry some of the characters in this book and as it turned out with good reason too.
The story behind the painting is told to Oliver by an old Cambridge professor of his. Can history repeat itself? Read this and find out if Oliver was right to be worried about the picture.