Thursday, April 12, 2012
Book Review Re-Read: THE MAN IN THE PICTURE by Susan Hill
For the first time EVER in my reading history I have re-read a novel. That for me translates to it must be pretty dang good novel or the urge to re-read it would not be there. This one is a really unique gem. So much so that I had to re-read it when I finally got my hands on a copy. It only took me 3 years to get it but when it showed up I inhaled it all over again like it was the first time. If you like a good short mystery with a touch of Venetian mystery then this is your novel. I implore you all to at least check out this novel it is so short that you could inhale it in one night. Just trust me if I had to wait almost three years for a copy on paperbackswap.com and finally gave up on my efforts there and resorted to buying it from Amazon instead then I must not be the only one who wanted it. The PBS wait does prove that I am not alone in my feelings that this novel is a very intriguing mystery.
In modern day England, Oliver who lives in London, pays a visit to his old Cambridge professor whom over the years he has developed a genuine deep-rooted friendship with. During his visit to Oliver he notices a painting that has an unusual masquerade scene in it. Creepy and eerie would not even begin to describe the painting Oliver had never noticed before. Oliver was instantly drawn to it like a magnet and he began asking Theo questions of how he acquired the piece. Theo in response told him, "I would like to tell you a story, mostly for my sake, to alleviate some of the burden". Theo's story started with how he came across the painting at an auction, & won the painting. Immediately afterwards a mysterious man appeared and wanted to purchase the painting for any price Theo named. He refused and the man told him he would regret it. After some time he had the painting at his home when one day the light hit it just right and a mysterious man appeared in the masquerade scene he had never seen before. The man was being dragged to a boat on the canal by two men, with a distressed look of horror about him. Theo had never noticed him before in the painting and he found it rather particular that it would randomly show up after so many long years.
After a series of spooky happenings to Theo an unknown duchess extended an invitation to him at her country estate to discuss the painting. Wearily he arrived and met the duchess, who was probably well into her nineties. She wanted the painting and Theo knew it, but the story she told of the painting and the history behind it was astounding and down right creepy. Theo never could have foreseen what the paintings history was when he bought it and he truly already regretted purchasing but yet he could not part from it. It had drawn him in and it would not let him go. Never would Theo have foreseen the dark events that were to come in the not too distant future involving not only him but also others around him that he cared dearly about.
5/5 I cannot give any more details because it will ruin the mystery for you. I wish I could but I can say it is well worth it to read this tale of the mysteriously creepy masquerade painting. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how many words a painting is worth. What secrets can lie beneath the oil and canvas of a sinister carnival scene? Your imagination will run wild with this read and you will just have to read this one to find what really happens.~Lizzie~