Portrait of a Girl
My review -
This is the second of the author’s horror stories and it takes me back to the kind of Dennis Wheatley books I devoured in my younger days. There’s that sense of menace throughout the story. The hapless Mr Jones, who was hounded by the police when he was an innocent victim in The Showing, is once again drawn into something he cannot control. A portrait of a girl in the local art gallery draws him almost hypnotically and he even begins to dream of it. He goes in to ask the price but it’s far more than he can afford. He leaves his details as an expression of interest, and then, when a young man goes missing and was last seen in the vicinity of the gallery, the police pay their first call upon Mr Jones. More young men fall under the portrait’s baleful influence and once again, Mr Jones has to convince the police he’s not to blame.
This is an engrossing and thoughtful study of a man in the grip of an obsession which has drawn lesser men into peril of their lives. He has the help of a friend to offer him some protection from a very real menace older than them all, and it’s a story which keeps on moving right to the end. Christmas is the time for ghost stories. Draw the curtains, settle down and give this a try!
I received a review copy of this book.