Syd Spicer served with the SAS. He has been trained to overcome pain and fear in all their forms. Well…almost all. Faced with a situation that would normally be passed discreetly to Hereford deliverance consultant Merrily Watkins, Spicer is handling it himself…and coming close to breakdown. Is there a national security aspect here, or is it something more personal?
With the framework of her own world beginning to crack, Merrily Watkins is persuaded to venture into areas where neither a priest nor a woman is welcome…to unearth secrets linked with the more arcane history of the Hereford-based SAS and the border’s pagan past. Secrets involving blood ritual and darkest side of spirituality. Secrets that can never be disclosed.
©2011 Phil Rickman (P)2012 Isis Publishing Ltd
As always, the strong, good writing and character development. I've stopped reading books because of the clunky dialogue or unlikely behavior of characters. Rickman tends to be dead on: people are complicated, weird stuff happens and the characters are questioning their own perceptions of them in totally believable ways.
Always love me some Franny Bliss.
Everything she's done in this series I've listened to. She's golden as always.
... probably laugh, but this question's a little dumb. Why encourage people to go for the maudlin and overwrought stuff?
I have trouble listening to much supernatural/suspense stuff because of how overdone and hamfisted a lot of it is. Rickman's work puts you in a definite place (geographical and cultural), so the experience of reading isn't merely emotional or scary or educational. It's the full package.
i love this series
yes. never sure which directions the connections will come from
i live the was she pauses. it builds drama. i would not have read it like that
"enjoyable relaxing listen"
I have read all the Merrily Watkins series but wanted something to listen to at night, wasn't too sure at first whether the narrator would annoy me but I got used to her voice and found it very relaxing in the end. Enjoyable series.
I have listened to several performances and found her voice took some getting used to as it is quite slow and has a bit of a soporific effect. It is clear though and I now link it to the Merrily Watkins series.
No, far too long.
I have all of Phil Rickman's books and was looking forward to adding the audible books to my library. However, Emma Powell's narration is just attrocious.
She mispronounces any words possible (even with a Welsh name - I don't know what nationality she is) Eirion, as in Irene, is pronounced Aryan; CaRADog (emphasis on the penultimate syllable as always in Welsh) is pronounced CARadog; Ledwardine becomes Lebradine; Merrily becomes Mary-Lee.
Her Gomer voice is just plain peverse - she whispers what he says with a thick Welsh accent not true to border country/mid Wales - and makes him sound like a bleeding-heart moron. Gomer! He of the glittering eye the most vivacious of all characters in the series, forthright and blunt with sharp and cutting wisdom, compassion, and common -sense. She makes him sound like a light-as- a-feather insipid old grandmother about to sigh her way to death as you look at her. Gomer - 70+ eco-warrior and not-to-be-denied JCB master, master of his own fate and sod what anyone else thinks and says.
When Merrily is speaking to another woman it is difficult to tell who is speaking - it seems that one woman's voice fits all.
As I say, I was looking forward to downloading all of the Merrily books but instead, I have had to return this one.
If you have any affection for the characters in this series - don't buy any of these audible books. Seriously, another Aryan and I'd be throwing the computer through the window - and that's my PC not my laptop!
Better characterisation, especially in the voice of Gomer, and correct pronounciation of Welsh words. A narrator who sounds grown up and not about 10 -years-old.
Get a decent narrator and I'll buy the books.
"LOVE THESE BOOKS!"
Love the stories, love the characters, love the reading of them - love the whole thing! Busy downloading the next one as I type!
Had already read the book, love the Merrily series, but tried this on Audible and it fitted with how the books feel to me. Great story, very well read with plenty of passion and good attempts at many accents. Will be back for more Phil & Emma Powell.
I love these books and generally think they are read excellently. However I wish the author would sort out the difference between a Parish Council meeting and a Parochial Church Council meeting . As Merrily has no obligation to be at the former and neither would the former discuss church finances etc.
The reader reads very well but should be corrected when calling the diocese ...( pronounced as di- o- ciss) dioceses... The former is the singular .
These two things grate but the mispronunciation grates the most.
"Great story, not a great reading"
Phil Rickman has maintained the energy well throughout his Merrily Watkins series, and this latest installment has plenty of twists and turns and a variety of plot lines that all coalesce into a dramatic finale.
However, I have to say that I found Emma Powell's reading of the story embarrassingly awful at times. She simply cannot do accents - a significant problem when one of the main characters is from Liverpool. Her scouse accent is almost a parody, and when that character is talking to one from Birmingham, I found it impossible to tell the difference. I can't comment on the accuracy of her Herefordshire accent, but it sounded to me a bit Mummerzet to me. When she's simply narrating in her own voice, she's very good, but there are so many bits of dialogue that made me cringe.
"great story shame about the narration"
Any story that Mr Rickman writes is always top drawer..this story was no exception, however the only problem for me was the poor narration.
The accents were confusing and it spoiled the flow of the story,
"I have waited a long time for Phil Rickman books"
what a shame the first one I listened to is incomprehensible. I am afraid that I can't get a grip on the story because of the narrator. It is only because I am familiar with the characters I can follow the story line. The voices are all too similar and poor Franny Bliss sounds like a girl.
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