Returning home from a
client visit late one evening, Adam Snow takes a wrong turn and stumbles
across the derelict old White House. Compelled by curiosity he decides
to enter, only to be repelled when he feels the unmistakable sensation
of a small hand creeping onto his own. This is just the beginning of a
series of odd experiences.
This is the third of these lovely little pocket books of Hills that I've read and again it's a solid, if uninspiring, read.
Hill has a very easy style, she constructs her stories with a measured and stealthy pace filled with incidentals and asides that coach you along and draw you into the mundane as the extraordinary builds around you. Her menace, here is the impression of a young child's hand holding that of our protagonist, is subtle and both moving and disquieting and the intensity of the experience builds in a claustrophobic swirl until...well...until it all peters out and you're left wondering if that's all there is.
It isn't, quite, there is a coda to the story that attempts to give the whole thing a tragic 'Woman in Black' style ending but by then it's too late as any feelings of trepidation and discomfort have fallen away and you're merely reading to the end.
Buy it here - The Small Hand (The Susan Hill Collection)