A paradise parish of cobbled streets and timber-framed houses, and a huge, haunted vicarage were not what the Revd Merrily Watkins ever had in mind....
Though dead for two millennia, he remains perfectly preserved in black peat. The Man in the Moss is one of the most fascinating finds of the century....
It is 1560, and Elizabeth Tudor has been on the throne for a year....
Glastonbury, legendary resting place of the Holy Grail, is a mysterious and haunting town. But when plump, dizzy Diane Ffitch returns home, it's with a sense of deep unease....
When Maiden is revived in hospital after dying in a hit and run incident, his memories are not the familiar ones of bright lights and angelic music, only of a cold, harsh place he has no wish to revisit...ever....
For 400 years, the curfew bell has tolled nightly from the church tower of the small country town, Crybbe's only defence against the evil rising unbidden in its haunted streets....
Adrian McKinty was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. He studied politics and philosophy at Oxford before moving to America in the early 1990s....
Leo Defford doesn't believe in ghosts. But as the head of an independent production company, he does believe in high-impact TV....
Corpse candles. Phantom funerals. The bird of death. It was insidious....
When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation....
When a child's bones are found in the marshes near an ancient site that Ruth worked on ten years earlier, Ruth is asked to date them. The bones turn out to be two thousand years old....
When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others....
Mourning the death of his father and gravely injured at the hands of the English, Jamie Fraser finds himself running with a band of mercenaries in the French countryside....
As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening....
Who is stalking Seffi Callard, the world’s most fashionable spiritualist medium – now a paranoid recluse at her father’s Cotswold home?....
The Keeper of Lost Causes, the first installment of Adler- Olsen's Department Q series, features the deeply flawed chief detective Carl MØrck....
DI Nikki Galena: A police detective with nothing left to lose, she's seen a girl die in her arms, and her daughter will never leave the hospital again. She's gotten tough on the criminals....
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.
Sometimes the narrator contributes so much to a series that they imprint themselves in my mind as indistinguishable from the protagonist. That has definitely happened with Emma Powell. She is one of the most accomplished narrators working today, and I wish she worked non-stop. That being said, the plot here is also absorbing. Listening while I garden is a favorite hobby, and this one kept me on my knees in the dirt til after dark.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
A more coherent interesting plot, characters who don't sound the same. Plus doesn't Jane ever evolve? Must she always be squeaky and O-so charming?? Kill her please.
Has The Fabric of Sin turned you off from other books in this genre?
What does Emma Powell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
She is usually a fantastic reader, on his other books, but here she confuses voices -- characters sound the same, some are eve different genders but same accent. Confusing and irritating, plus other characters from past books she recycles the accent though it is an entirely new character.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
bland bloody boredom.
Any additional comments?
Do it better, Phil! We know you can!
I think of all of the books in this series this
May be my favourite, Rickman at his best with Templar lore too boot
Would you consider the audio edition of The Fabric of Sin to be better than the print version?
I haven't read the print version, but I would think so. Emma Powell does a wonderful job conveying not only the personalities of the characters but also the ambience of the whole story. I think I might have not being as interested with the print version.
Who was your favorite character and why?
The daughter. She was lively, funny and intelligent. She added a dimension to the story. It made it more than just a mystery novel and provided a wonderful and enriching contrast to her conservative mother.
Have you listened to any of Emma Powell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
No, I haven't yet.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Another Brilliant British Mystery
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.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful
Firstly I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Having said that I must admit to having reservations about how well this particular story lends itself to audio format. It is a complicated story with many characters, and flashbacks to times decades and centuries before the book's present. This can lead to confusion.
The main character, the brilliantly named Merrily Watkins, is trying to ply her wares as a priest and part time exorcist against a background of an increasingly more secular Church, the usual conspiracies of fear and silence, and her need to keep her personal relationships from scandalising the community. In this she is a most believable character, struggling with the mundane to achieve the sublime.
The plot involves a Manor house which has been newly purchased by the Crown. The builder engaged to conduct the refurbishment has been scared away and refuses to return. Merrily is asked to establish whether it there are earthly or spiritual disturbances at work.
When you throw in a fistful of strange local characters, the Knights Templar and their nearby Church, and the complex life that Merrily herself lives, it is easy to see how the story becomes complicated and a little hard to follow at times. The reading is good though, and well paced.
I would recommend this audiobook and have given it three stars though I would readily accept that it possibly deserves three and a half.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
It's a strange thing. It seems the only people who don't appreciate the excellent Merrily Watkins novels are the serial bed wetters who continue to wail and gnash their plastic fangs at Rickman for packing up his collection of pendulums, healing crystals and dowsing rods and decamping to the vicarage in Ledwardine where he now does a brisk trade with bell, book and candle. The Fabric of Sin may well turn out to be the book that finally brings a few of these disillusioned souls back to the body of the Kirk, so to speak.
This isn't a book for reading in leisurely, spaced out intervals (or any sort of spaced-out way for that matter) as the plot ricochets at high velocity between M.R. James, Templar Knights, religiously rabid parishioners, malevolent entities, synthetic sexual partners, and black magic rituals. Add murder, rape, suicide, along with a small dash of Nick Drake to the already sparking crucible and what you get is one of the best Merrily Watkins novels yet.
This novel may fall into the crime/mystery genre but the prose is always more Robert Frost than Inspector Frost - the cadence of the word-flow evocative and visionary, akin to something the Colourist movement might have painted. Like Nick Drake's music, which serves as a backdrop to many of these books, Rickman's writing has a curious way of slipping beneath the skin and making you dance to its own subliminal harmonic beat. For me alas, the dance is over for another year...... or at least until the audio book comes out.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
After listening for only a short while, I immediately went to the Kindle Store and downloaded the first book in the series and I am now up to the 4th! Wonderful books that are right up my street! However, they do not travel to Audible that well unless you can listen to them uninterrupted! So I will be getting the print version of this, too! The only problem I had was the reader. She did her best to single out different voices but so many sounded the same - with the same accent for many of them if they were supposed to be from Wales, Hereford or Northumberland - that it confused me. Must be a difficult thing to do, so can't really criticise too much!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I am SO disappointed in this book - I'm afraid I just cannot bear the narrator's style of reading - disjointed and "breathy". I have struggled through nearly to the end of the first part but just cannot listen any more. The plot is extremely convoluted, and I would not recommend it unless you are obsessed by the Knights Templar! This is the first audiobook I have given up on, and really regret having to give such a negative write-up.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Another enjoyable salad of New Age ideas, conspiracy theories and Church politics sadly marres by the reader who does a nice line in Welsh Indo-Geordie accents.
I just LOVE these books! I love the recurring characters, Emma Powell's readings, and the slowly unfolding story within each one! Each time I am determined to listen to something different next time - and each time I find myself downloading the next in the series! I'm obviously addicted!
The story is brilliant and the reader is not bad but there are many strange breaks and quite a lot of background noise which spoils the story