Friday, February 10, 2012

The Woman in Black

Okay, the holidays are over and spring is still a ways off, so what else have you got to do besides scare yourself silly? You may have seen trailers for a movie called "The Woman in Black," which just opened in theaters February 3 and stars everyone's favorite boy-wizard, Daniel Radcliffe. While I'm not pushing the movie on you (I haven't seen it, so I can't comment on how good--or bad--it might be), it's based on a book also titled The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. Within its pages you'll meet Arthur Kipps, a young attorney on the rise in London of yesteryear. When his boss sends him--alone--on an assignment to Eel Marsh House to settle the affairs of a recently expired widow, Mrs. Alice Drablow, he has high hopes that this will land him a much-desired promotion within the ranks of the law firm. Once he arrives, though, he finds himself in the middle of a spine-tingling mystery. Why are the townsfolk so standoffish about about Mrs. Drablow? And just who is the dreadful woman in black? Kipps is determined to find answers, but learning the truth has grave consequences, and by tale's end he wishes he'd never stepped foot in Eel Marsh House. This is a great story superbly written in the style of classic gothic novels, and also a long-running theater production on the London stage. So maybe the book won't exactly scare the dickens out of you, but it's a nice spine-tingler. And if you enjoy it, you'll probably like Susan Hill's other ghostly tale as well, The Man in the Picture.

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