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review 2017-09-05 19:37
Victorian (?) Ghost Snooze
The Woman in Black - Susan Hill

I'll let the book itself tell it

 

my main sensation was one of tedium and a certain lethargy, combined with a desire to finish the job

 

As a love letter and homage to Victorian ghosts stories, it fell very short. Hill clearly is familiar with the elements, which is necessary, but then fumbles them. A little flare is essential in these type of tales, specially when it's a throw-back to the style case.

 

As it is, it managed to bore me and made me struggle to finish the short pages. Everything is telegraphed pages and pages in advance, so by the middle I was just rolling my eyes and waving a "get on with it". No surprises, and a foregone conclusion.

 

It is not dreadful. It might appeal to a kid during that starting-to-read horror-addiction phase. And the beginning was somewhat promising. The jump-in-time matrioshka thing could have been interesting if it had been panned out, but only the framing was kept, and all the head-ache of years-math was for nothing. Seriously, what was with that house-buying reminiscing? Useless fat. And the morning-at-the-office while catching the train... tell it straight if it has no purpose!.

 

Then there are the issues of character calling things Victorian. Given the three times we are working with (the maybe 50 years old man writing, the recount of buying his house when he was some 35, and main story when he was 22/23, where a car appears) it could be that the protagonist is applying more modern terms to his past thinking. But I feel like either the author tried to get a cute wink at the fourth wall and it fell dead, or she forgot to stay in time (since she seems to be aiming for an "authentic" Victorian ghost story).

 

This last might be me over-estimating how long it took people to call the Victorian era such, and identify things and styles with it.

 

Anyway, I'm done roasting. Not awful or offensive, but I'm not reading another of hers.

 

 

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text 2017-09-05 09:59
Reading progress update: I've read 25 out of 160 pages.
The Woman in Black - Susan Hill

"The business was beginning to sound like something from a Victorian novel"

 

WHEN are we set then? Or is it a missed detail by the author? I mean, the yellow fog would suggest Victorian era or little later. How soon did people start to refer to that swath of time as such?

 

 

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review 2016-10-20 19:19
The Woman In Black: A chilling serial killer thriller with a twist you won't see coming (Detective Jessica Daniel thriller series Book 3) by Kerry Wilkinson
The Woman in Black: A chilling serial killer thriller with a twist you won't see coming (Detective Jessica Daniel thriller series Book 3) - Kerry Wilkinson

The Woman In Black: A chilling serial killer thriller with a twist you won't see coming (Detective Jessica Daniel thriller series Book 3) by Kerry Wilkinson is a suspense-filled book. I gave it four stars. There are lots of twists and turns.

 

Jessica Daniel is developing as a character and maturing as a detective and a friend. She still has bouts where her mouth engages before her brain but those happen less often.

I look forward to reading more of this author's books.

 

I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Bookouture and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Woman-Black-chilling-thriller-Detective-ebook/dp/B01LXO3NIO

 

This book is in pre-order status until November 24, 2016. I could not leave a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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review 2016-02-20 00:00
The Woman in Black
The Woman in Black - Susan Hill,John Lawrence Well, this one was a little tedious for me. Maybe I wasn't in the mood. I'm not sure how it could read fast and slow at the same time, but it did. I think it could have used a little more to it. Not horrible, but just a little better than ok. 2+ Stars.
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review 2016-02-02 00:00
The Woman in Black
The Woman in Black - Susan Hill,John Lawrence I gave this story 4.5 stars. However I had to round it up on Goodreads to 5 stars.

So I don't know if I am rating this favorable because the last two books I finished made me want to scream and kick something or not. For the most part I loved the story until we got to the subpar ending which didn't do much for me. And when we do get to the ending of the tale, the story just comes to a flat stop which made me think I was missing some pages from the book.

Told in the first person, readers "meet" Arthur Kipps. We find that Arthur is an older man and is enjoying having his stepchildren home for Christmas. For some reason though Arthur feels unsettled. Eventually returning to his family there is a call for ghost stories which infuriates Arthur and he takes himself outside. He decides to write down a "real" ghost story for his wife in order to finally unburden himself. We then flash back to when Arthur was a young solicitor working in London when he was dispatched to deal with Mrs. Alice Drablow's estate. Attending the funeral, Arthur notices a woman in black. And unfortunately for Arthur, she notices him too.

I thought that Arthur was a good protagonist for this story. I felt myself sympathetic and also afraid for him throughout the story. What gets you is that though Arthur sees the things that he does and feels them too, he still wants to figure out a way to logically explain it and/or end it.

There are several other people in this story and Hill doesn't focus too much on them besides how Arthur perceives them until we get almost to the end and we have Arthur making a life long friend with one of the town inhabitants, Samuel Daily.

I thought the writing was tone perfect. Hill manages to describe things to such a great extent that you feel like you are right there. The first chapter in the book I really enjoyed because it really did make me think I was somewhere in a large country house in England smelling the winter air and looking at the moon and stars. When Arthur travels to Crythin Gifford it feels ominous and threatening based on what Arthur tells us people's reactions are to him. What is sad is how pulled to Alice Drablow's home (Eel Marsh House) he felt and how initially he was charmed by the house and thought how wonderful it would be to live there. What is funny is that as a reader, based on the description I would have gotten the heck out of there. Pronto.

description

The flow of the story really does work up until almost the end. Then the story comes apart a bit and the flow never really improves after that. I think that we just had a ridiculous missing time segment that didn't make a whole lot of sense and all of a sudden Arthur changes from wanting to figure out the woman in black, to deciding the heck with it.

I loved the settings of Crythin Gifford and Eel Marsh House. Eel Marsh House especially had me shuddering slightly based on how Hill describes it and how foolish we know that Arthur is for staying on though anyone with any sense would have high tailed it out of there.

description

The ending though like I said earlier was a disappointment. There didn't seem to be enough evil there for the woman in black. I liked everything up until the final reveal and I said to myself really? It just was missing that last little bit of oomph. I don't need every book to read like a Stephen King novel. But I was a disappointed with who was the woman in black and what led her to her current state.
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