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Publisher's Summary

In Herefordshire's hop-growing country, a converted kiln is the scene of a savage murder. When the local vicar refuses to help its new owners cope with the aftermath, Merrily Watkins is sent in by the Bishop of Hereford to defuse the situation. Merrily, however, is already contending with a woman's claim that her daughter is possessed by evil. In both cases Merrily remains unconvinced, but nothing is ever quite what it seems.
As she is drawn into a tangle of trickery, deceit, corruption and sexual menace, her hastily conducted exorcism produces unhappy results. With her career now on the line, she tries to uncover the secrets of Knight's Frome - a village concealing a twisted past as...
©2001 Phil Rickman (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"Rickman writes mysteries in the classic sense, cleverly combining the supernatural and criminal elements to illuminate the darkest corners of our imaginations." (John Connolly)
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Customer Reviews

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By Lesley on 03-22-09

Extremely Enjoyable

Wonderful. Do push on through the rather slow start. As you get further in, you realise that a faster start would have left the listener confused. There is a lot of information and a lot of characters to be taken in, but once the groundwork has been laid, then the story romps away. Beautifully written. The reader was 90% there. She paused at inappropriate (to the sense of a sentence) moments. Her 'voices' really added to the atmosphere and to the characters. Extremely Enjoyable.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

By Kathryn on 11-21-09


Rickman once again weaves his fascinating fabric of the supernatural, the criminal, and the folklore of the countryside. While I normally listen to audio books while driving or doing chores, Rickman's stories so ensnare me that I find myself sitting down and just listening for much longer than I planned.
Ms. Powell is a wonderful narrator and makes the characters come alive. She enchants the reader with the distinctive local accents.
I only wish all the Merrily books were available on Audible.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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By A. Watson on 04-13-13

More Hops Than a One Legged Firewalker........

The Cure of Souls was first time I ever picked up a Phil Rickman with a muted feeling of half hearted enthusiasm. The problem you see was Hops - those little flowery things used in the beer brewing process. No matter which way I turned it over in my head I couldn't envision how `hop picking' would ever lend itself to the sort of edge-of-your-seat thriller chillers that Rickman specialises in. As it turned out my fears were groundless as the Cure of Souls was a fantastic read and if Rickman ever decides to write about `Porcelain Thimble Collecting' or `Tapeworm Charming' then I'll be more than happy to bow to his better judgment.

This time round Lol Robinson - who every guitar strumming bloke of a certain age must surely identify with - returns after a strategic absence from `A Crown of Lights' (edged out most likely by Robin the fluffy Wiccan) to play a lead role in the story arc and he teams up with a couple of old lags from `December' - Prof Leven and Simon St John to record his first album since Hazey Jane broke up. Merrily meanwhile is called upon to exorcise a haunted Hop Kiln and suddenly we're off and running on the Rickman Express. The storyboard is studded with all manner of good things; possessed schoolgirls, vengeful gypsies, bent coppers, and to top it all a very naked Annie Howe.

Having written my thoughts on more than a few Phil Rickman novels my hyperbole tank is pretty running low so let's leave it at this - the guy is a superb writer - one of a kind. In fact I intend to commission a statue of him, albeit rather small and made from plasticine but all are welcome to come and pay their respects. Just watch out for those pesky hop bines, they get everywhere.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

By Kindle Customer on 11-14-15

Gypsies, Hops and Spooks

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book and I would also recommend reading December as characters from that book emerge in this one. Which ties in nicely.

What other book might you compare The Cure of Souls to, and why?

All the Merrily books are brilliant.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The kiln and not quite an exorcism

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Gypsies, Hops and Spooks

Any additional comments?

I think to really enjoy this book you have to read December which ties in characters from Phil Rickmans other books. I have read all of the Merrily Watkins series and the other books he has wrote. Characters from Crybbe, Man in the Moss, December etc all tie in with the Merrily books and are a very good read.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Bonita N. Jones on 11-07-16

Another Cracker of a story

Loved this latest installment of Merrily's adventures into the unknown. Kept me guessing all the way.

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