The Small Hand

The Small Hand

Book rating: 04 Hardback

By (author) Susan Hill

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  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 176 pages
  • Dimensions: 116mm x 180mm x 24mm | 240g
  • Publication date: 2 September 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846682363
  • ISBN 13: 9781846682360
  • Sales rank: 13,308

Product description

Returning home from a visit to a client late one summer's evening, antiquarian bookseller Adam Snow takes a wrong turning and stumbles across the derelict old White House. Compelled by curiosity, he approaches the door, and, standing before the entrance feels the unmistakable sensation of a small hand creeping into his own, 'as if a child had taken hold of it'. Intrigued by the encounter, he determines to learn more, and discovers that the owner's grandson had drowned tragically many years before. At first unperturbed by the odd experience, Snow begins to be plagued by haunting dreams, panic attacks, and more frequent visits from the small hand which become increasingly threatening and sinister ...

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Author information

Susan Hill is the winner of numerous literary prizes including the Somerset Maugham and Whitbread Awards. Her literary memoir, Howards End is on the Landing and the ghost story The Man in the Picture are both published by Profile, and she is the author of a highly successful crime series (Chatto & Windus). The Woman in Black has been running in the West End for twenty years.

Customer reviews

By Penny Cunningham 23 Apr 2011 4

The Small hand was a very gentle ghost story, really, you will not be terrified reading it, but it is a good short story with a bit of edge to it.
Adam Snow an antiquarian book dealer gets lost and stumbles across an old delapidated house and garden, long abandoned. As he is looking at the house he feels a small hand take hold of his, but there is no-one there, and the story begins. He is unaware of the consequences of this event and is drawn back to the house and garden, in the weeks afterwards he experiences panic attacks and a powerful feeling of being defenseless and alone. He feels the small hand in his trying to lead him to pools of water and a precepice, with determination and persistance, which terrify him The mystery continues right until the end of the book, leaving you with a feeling of sincere sadness, in an ending that does not altogether surprise you when it comes.
A really lovely little book.

Review quote

Superior chills from the author of The Woman in Black Woman & Home A distinguished modern exponent of the genre ... The entire narrative unrolls like a carpet ... This beautifully written novel may be short, but not one word is wasted ... The sinister child, the rotting mansion, the monastery and the old books are of course familiar gothic props; but Susan Hill uses them to lend depth, as an expert cook uses familiar ingredients to enrich a new recipe, and draws out new flavours from them in the process ... highly recommended for a chilly autumn evening by the fire. And, as a bonus, the book has an exceptionally attractive cover Spectator On chilling form Vogue She builds suspense through easy, elegant prose ... If the proof of a good ghost story is a bad dream, this one worked for me Intelligent Life On top form Good Housekeeping Beautifully evoked ... what's most impressive is what hangs between the spare lines of Hill's precise prose ... this is a wonderful piece of storytelling that does what a good story ought to do: it keeps you guessing, pulls you in -- Jeremy Dyson Guardian Every bit the treat one would expect ... as ever, not a word is wasted. As seductive as it is disquieting, atmospheric and brilliantly suspenseful The Lady Short and crisply told ... The tension is built up gradually until it is taut and physical Independent Part of the fear she conjures up, then, is a sense that this could happen to anyone ... Hill's superbly crafted tale doesn't belong to a confessional age, but it does belong to an age where we are all striving for our own identity. Where we all, secretly, long for a ghost to reach out and grip us, make us real -- Lesley MacDowell Scotsman Precise and stylish Big Issue Classic Mail on Sunday It's hugely enjoyable and a perfect read for a couple of hours by the fireside on a dark winter's evening, and would make an ideal Christmas stocking filler Daily Mail Great ghostly reading leading up to Halloween Woman's Day Australia Masterfully done ... subtle, elegant The Times A beautiful volume housing a chilling take on the good old-fashioned ghost story Red Restrained, spare, elegant prose with all the necessary accoutrements ... most definitely suited to reading beside a roaring fire while fingering the thick cream pages of this well-produced hardback -- Sophia Martelli Observer Susan Hill is the grande dame of English supernatural fiction ... The Small Hand is another brilliant exercise in the uncanny ... Hill is a mistress of economy and timing, and although The Small Hand is only the length of a novella, it has the heft of a novel. Each phrase comes balanced on a raft of implication ... an elegant entertainment for a winter's night -- Suzi Feay Financial Times Hill writes with an understated style that gives the story plenty of conviction and although it is set in the present day, a dusty, timeless pall lies over it -- Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express Gripping from the first page Waterstone's Books Quarterly Wonderfully old fashioned ... Hill is a master of the art of suspense, subtly increasing the creepiness until it is at fever pitch. Eerie and compelling from start to finish Attitude No one chills the heart like Susan Hill Daily Telegraph Hill knows how to give readers a good fright Instyle Magazine, Australia A chilling and beguiling small treasure of a story Herald on Sunday, NZ This supernatural chiller is gripping and unnerving, the sort of book you devour in one sitting The Age, Australia Beautiful Sydney Morning Herald A chilling meditation on how long-buried secrets can rise to haunt us, this story won't leave you in a hurry Who Weekly Magazine, Australia There is a thrilling building terror in this elegant but restrained ghost story Herald Sun, Australia A twisting psychological drama where disaster looms at every turn Daily Telegraph, Sydney A beautifully written, subtle tale with echoes of M R James Country Life