Adam Snow, an antiquarian bookseller, loses his way one summer evening and finds himself in the overgrown garden of a derelict Sussex mansion.
And as he contemplates his surroundings, the small hand of an invisible child creeps into his own.
From this quietly unsettling beginning, an increasingly jittery story develops, and the spirit haunts Snow with ever-growing malevolence.
Susan Hill uses great settings: the untenanted house, a lonely mountain road, a monastery of silent monks in France. The denouement is wholly unexpected, but makes sense of everything that went before. It is a classic ghost story with the same combination of charm and chill which characterised The Woman in Black.