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The Small Hand Hardcover – Feb 9 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd (Feb. 9 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846682363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846682360
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 2.1 x 18.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #489,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa8902774) out of 5 stars 34 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8ab52dc) out of 5 stars A good read, but a little too formulaic July 10 2011
By Ralph Blumenau - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Many, many years ago I read Susan Hill's The Woman in Black (1983), and remember what a good ghost story that was; and she has now returned to this genre. The ingredients are traditional: the central character is a dealer in antique books; he comes across a derelict house, set in an overgrown garden. Entering the grounds, he feels a child's hand in his own, but there is noone there. In due course he learns that "something happened there, but it was all hushed up." The memory of the experience never quite leaves him. Some weeks later he begins to experience panic attacks, for no reason that he can explain. And then he feels the hand again, fiercely trying to pull him to some disaster... It's a good read, and the ending, despite the clues in the book, is somewhat unexpected; but this is not as good a book as Susan Hill's earlier ones: the various atmospheric devices were too formulaic, too familiar for me to experience any frisson.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8ab1e7c) out of 5 stars She Believes in Ghosts Dec 27 2012
By JAK - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At present, if there is a better ghost story writer than Susan Hill ,I don't know who it is.No this isn't as good as the WOMAN IN BLACK.However, it is a quick satisfying read.Hill doesn't insist in "naturalizing" or debunking her ghosts. They are ghosts- period- not products of delusion , confusion or insanity.They aren't altogether comprehensible and they are scary because they are dead peoples spirits. Also they aren't friendly or well intentioned .When you meet them, fun and romance do not ensue. This one centers on a child spirit out for revenge.It's not terrifying but it's creepy and unsettling.It took me about three hours to read and I found it hard to put down.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa85a3534) out of 5 stars Not Hill's Best May 11 2013
By G. Delany Dean - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not nearly as good as Susan Hill's other books; this one reads like something she wrote quickly and did not put much effort into. More superficial than her other books; characters not well-developed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa84014b0) out of 5 stars Scary good fun Aug. 16 2013
By Katie - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved the story, nice plot line with twists and surprises. Creepy and fun. I am a sucker for gothic horror, so this was a perfect fit.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8401bd0) out of 5 stars This chilling tale of concealed trepidation has to be the most exciting horror story I have read in ages, by a spectacular autho Nov. 3 2012
By Lucinda - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This exceptional and bestselling ghost story is by the author of The Woman in Black and The man in the picture. It is about Adam Snow, a blameless antiquarian bookseller who has a series of supernatural experiences; when a small hand grasps his, sometimes passively and sometimes with malevolent intent. Wherever he goes and wherever he travels he is almost certain to encounter the ghostly phenomenon. Included are some really wonderful and atmospheric descriptions, including those of the monastery of saint Mathieu, that is really beautiful and well-written. The main character and narrator tells of his experiences with `the small hand' in such a compelling and believable way as to really pull you into the story and into the peculiarity of it all. I certainly thought that the rather peculiar and original storyline was very interesting and it made a change to read something a little different to your average, stereotypical horror story.

After one particular night Adam Snow finds himself journeying through the downs on his commute back to the hustle and bustle of London, only to then discover himself truly lost. Eventually he comes upon a house that has a sign up saying `garden closed' and then decides being a rather conspicuous house, to go in and ask for directions. However all is not as it seems when he comes upon the derelict house, for when he then turns around to return to the car a presence is lurking within the shadows and a small hand clutches hold of him.

This story certainly takes the imagination on quite a journey as this `small hand' is something not visible and yet to the protagonist is something very real and definitely present. As things become more sinister you are left guessing, with your imagination taking over as these supposed panic attacks turn out to be something quite different for the main character. Gripped by fear and concerned about this constant presence, the tension and drama escalates with the imminent danger looming on the horizon. The unexpected parts that shock and surprise you make this book so intensely gripping and such an enjoyable read, which seems to get even better as you read on. The twists and turns within the plot coupled with the most unusual plot, make this book such an exciting read where you undeniably loose yourself within the pages. Susan Hill is a fantastic, accomplished writer whose skill and proficiency with a pen are apparent in all of her work and who by far outshines many writers within this genre. It certainly made me scared of the dark days after I read this story, and had the desired effect when I jumped at noises when left all alone. It might not be quite as spine-chilling or disturbing as the woman in black (now also made into a film), but it is a great read and one that I would highly recommend to all those readers who enjoy this genre and style of narrative.

* 3 ½ stars *

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