The Woman in Black: Angel of Death

Written by Martyn Waites
Review by S Garside-Neville

It is 1940, and schoolteacher Eve Perkins accompanies her class on their evacuation from the London Blitz. But they fetch up at Eel Marsh House. It is isolated, damp and unloved, but initially seems to be a haven from the dangerous city. Readers who recall a previous adventure at Eel Marsh House will be expecting a ghost story. And they will get one, as this is the sequel to Susan Hill’s Woman in Black. Most specifically, it is the tie-in to the next film. Short chapters, each headed with a title, often read like a scene-by-scene script. It is competently written, skilfully showing who is viewing the action and what is happening. But somehow it is just not very scary. Perhaps this is because to some extent it reads as familiar territory, not because of its predecessor, but because it seems to follow ghost story ‘rules.’

It is a short book, which could be devoured in one sitting, and would be a good read on a long journey, perhaps. It does not really add to the original great ghost story, unfortunately. Those who are fans, however, may happily spy the opportunity for another film or novel near the end of the book.