Susan Hill’s bookseller-themed ghost story
The English author Susan Hill has written a ghost story, a very good one apparently, with an antiquarian bookseller as the main protagonist, Adam Snow. The Guardian reviewed Hill’s The Small Hand at the weekend. The book also has a lovely cover.
Snow is on his way back from visiting some wealthy clients when he gets lost driving around narrow country lanes. He takes a wrong turn and discovers a dilapidated, seemingly abandoned country house. Drawn by curiosity – or something darker – he gets out of his car and goes to explore the overgrown gardens which, according to a rotting and broken sign, were once open to the public. Standing there, surveying the decay and desolation, Snow feels a small hand creeping into his own: “It felt cool and its fingers curled themselves trustingly into my palm and rested there, and the small thumb and forefinger tucked my own thumb between them.” There is, of course, no child there. Snow is quite alone.