...260 tautly written pages of biographical fact, film criticism, character analysis and just enough well-sourced quirky gossip — none of it new, but much of it delicious ... Ackroyd blends plenty of thoughtful insight into the mix ... a masterful book on the Master of Suspense: like all good movies, it’s over too soon.
Ackroyd’s volume is slim but insightful, no more than a character portrait but guided by a novelist’s skills of characterization and texture ... Ackroyd does a lovely job of bringing a blush to the cheek of his early infatuation with Ingrid Bergman ... [Ackroyd] is thrillingly alive to what he calls 'the true music' of Hitchcock.
Ackroyd can write intelligently and evocatively about these films...But after at least 35 books, his productivity may be taking a toll. The prose is not always as crisp as it should be ... He might also have paid more attention to Hitchcock’s work as a whole ... more astute on his subject’s psychological makeup than on what makes us want to read about him: his approach to the films he made.