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Publisher's Summary

When a disused church is bought by a young pagan couple, who intend to use it for their own rituals, the evangelical local rector reacts with fury. In an isolated community on the Welsh border, an atmosphere of stifling menace develops - with the persecution of innocent people, false accusations and the formation of a Christian vigilante group. Diocesan deliverance consultant Merrily Watkins is expected to keep the peace as this cauldron of conflict threatens to boil over into serious violence, Merrily uses all the diplomacy she can muster. But, as the confrontation moves towards its climax, she is unaware of a personal threat against her from a deranged and violent man.
©2001 Phil Rickman (P)2008 Isis Publishing Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By dave on 10-28-09

Best yet

I've listened to every Phil Rickman book available. I love them all, But this is by far my favorite. Phil Rickman tells a great tale. As far as the narrator, I think Emma Powell has the perfect voice for these books. She's narrated them all and I've come to associate her voice with my mental image of the characters. It wouldn't be the same with another voice.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

By Constance on 01-18-11

Imaginative but Weird

Very imaginative story but you must have a liking for really "out there" weirdness. Well written and well narrated except for one important character who speaks in a whisper (why?).

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By A. Watson on 04-13-13

Pagans 1 Christians 0

At some point the snake-handling, talking-in-tongues, jitter-bugging Christian militia across the pond are going to fix their sights firmly on Phil Rickman and have a good ole book burnin' (not to mention a possible lynchin'). But until such times those us who believe in peace, love, religious tolerance, free dental care and the Great Pumpkin, can continue to enjoy Rickman giving the ultra-right wing fundamentalists a damn good kicking.

The only very slight criticism (a mere teeny weeny micro quibble) I have about this book is that Rickman may have made his two principal Wiccans far too nice and likable. I can tell you from personal experience that some Pagans are extremely grumpy. When I used to have a paper round, a cantankerous old Wiccan frequently complained about my late deliveries and never once gave me a tip (except to advise me on the uses of Witch Hazel as an astringent when I fell off my bike).

As for the book.......nice fluffy Wiccans aside - Rickman's fingerprints are on every page as he ramps up the conflict levels, placing his central character Merrily Watkins into a hostile environment where she is forced to intercede between the pious and dangerously delusional Rev Nick Ellis and the not quite so fluffy Pagan stormtroopers who offer moral support (and herbal tea) to their persecuted coven mates. Merrily's main problem is that she discovers her own faith has more common ground with the opposition than the snarling, mob-handed zealots with whom she shares a God. I've never been comfortable with books that have an underlying moral message but in this case I'll make an exception as Rickman presents the argument that all religions draw their water from the same well and only the ideology and the costumes change.

Now about that Great Pumpkin....................

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

By Gabrielle Harvey-Jones on 03-05-16

Think I'm possessed by Merrily Watkins!

Loving these books - the characters, the atmosphere and the stories! Busy downloading No 4, as I write! I quite enjoy Emma Powell's rendition of them, too! Perhaps I'm just easily pleased, but I think they are just very enjoyable!

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