For the last twenty years Sir James Monmouth has been a gentleman adventurer, journeying all over the globe in the footsteps of his hero, the great pioneering traveller Conrad Vane.
One rainy winter night, Sir James returns to London. Orphaned at five, it is now time to find out more about his family and origins, and also to learn about the early years of Conrad Vane.
But at every turn James is warned off his investigation into Conrad Vane. Do these warnings explain his flashes of intense fear and feelings of being watched? And what of the boy who has started haunting his every step and the mysterious mirror with its inexplicable reflections?
Eventually, Sir James’s quest leads him to the old lady of Kittiscar Hall, and deep into a past that binds him to his hero in ways he never could have imagined.
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Psychologically astute and disturbing in its ambiguities, its impossible to resist the manipulative power of this finely constructed tale - Financial Times
Chock-full of dimness, murk, moonlight, mystification and melancholy - Independent
This is a novel for readers who enjoy a good tale that is well told, and who find that nothing chills the blood as effectively as an old-fashioned, chain-rattling ghostly villain - The Times
If sometimes you find yourself in a secondhand bookshop fingering the spines of forgotten 19th century novels looking for ghouls and murder and vice, halt your search: for in a Susan Hill there are enough graveyards in which to lose yourself entirely - Daily Mail
Susan Hill's novels and short stories have won the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham and John Lewellyn Rhys awards and been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She is the author of over fifty books, including a series of crime novels featuring the detective Simon Serrailler and the ghost stories The Small Hand and The Woman in Black, which has been running as a play in the West End since 1989, and has recently also been made into a major film starring Daniel Radcliffe. She lives in the Cotswolds.