Garway church was built by medieval Knights Templar. After seven centuries, the Welsh border village is still shadowed in their mysteries. Why do the local pubs have astrological names? What happened in Garway to intimidate the Edwardian ghost-story writer M. R James? And why is it impossible to find a builder prepared to restore the ancient Master House, a few fields away from Garway church? Deliverance consultant Merrily Watkins is ordered to investigate by the Bishop Hereford. Initially unconvinced that anything is amiss, a violent death changes everything, and Merrily's inquiries soon uncover hidden layers of sin and retribution in this secretive landscape. Warned off when she stumbles into forbidden areas, Merrily has no option but to conceal a major crime as she returns to Garway to find fibres of fear stitched into history and insidiously twisted in the corridorsÂ and the cloisters Âof power.
"Merrily, a fully-drawn heroine and fascinating personality in her own right, acts as the reader's conduit into this slightly askew world where even exorcists are sceptics and work alongside police, psychiatrists and lawyers. Add a finely sketched portrayal of provincial England and you get a first class thriller with a difference." (Guardian) "First rate. A passionate, flawed modern woman, every bit as concerned with the intricacies of crime as with demons that go bump in the night. We don't praise our home-grown thriller writers enough. It's high time we praised Phil Rickman." (Daily Mail) "As if an episode of The Vicar of Dibley or The Archers had suddenly turned into Cracker." (Sunday Times) "Rickman's strengths, an acute ear for dialogue and a talent for wickedly accurate character cameos, draw one into a story where human frailties and strengths are counterposed. The clever combination of modern idiom and the timeless echo of history leaps from every page. You are there with poor Merrily every step of the way." (Daily Express)