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The sublime ghost stories of Susan Hill

The ghost stories of the British writer Susan Hill are not terribly original, but they are very effective. You get the impression that every morning Hill drinks a distilled tincture of pages from such past masters as Shirley Jackson, Henry James and, above all, M.R. James, and the elixir does her a world of good. Her best-known work, "The Woman in Black," was made into a much-appreciated movie starring Daniel Radcliffe, but of two newly release novellas, "The Small Hand" is just as good, if far more unfilmable. (The hauntings in "The Woman in Black" were visual and auditory.