Directed by the Bishop of Hereford to investigate, Merrily Watkins is wary of being used and suspicious of the people she's supposed to be helping. But violent death changes everything, and Merrily uncovers hidden layers of sin and retribution in a secretive landscape.
©2007 Phil Rickman; (P)2008 Isis Publishing Ltd
"Rickman's crime series is one of the best around" (Spectator)
I'm in love with the Merrily Watkins series as a whole, and this book delivers the goods once again. My favorite thing is how he weaves actual historical facts and figures into his stories. I read "O Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad" in a collection of short stories many years ago and it haunted me ever since(even though I forgot both the name of it's author and the collection). When I heard lines from that tale coming from the mouths of this book's characters, the little hairs rose on my arms and neck! I've never known of anyone else who had even heard of that story! As always, I'm sorry that Rebecca Lacey didn't do the reading (she did the first and was excellent). Emma Powell is quite good, but Ms. Lacey was the best.
This is the first of Phil Rickman's books I have read. His skillful weaving of British history/geography, ancient lore, and the travails of modern life into an intriguing mystery novel works quite well. Rickman even manages to find tantalizing new ground to explore in the well-trod realms of the Templars and Freemasonry, both of which feature prominently in the book.
My unfamiliarity with the history of the cast of characters, many of whom clearly appeared in previous books, as well as with the ins and outs of British class structure, government and church politics, was something of a disadvantage, although not so much so as to keep me from enjoying the book and learning quite a bit in the process. I'm hoping my learning curve will be shorter on the next Rickman book I read--something I'm definitely planning on doing.
1st of all the audible book was hard to understand. This was because of the Welsh accents and the reading seemed to be rushed. I bought an actual copy of the book to follow along with the reading. Maybe I should have read the 1st book in the series because I think the author assumed I knew the characters. I didn't. Worst of all, nothing much happends after 170 pages. It was just painful to listen to. My wife and I just gave up even though there was a dead body after more than 180 pages.
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