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Publisher's Summary

Merrily Watkins, parish priest, single mother, and Deliverance Consultant, heads for the Malvern Hills to investigate an alleged paranormal dimension to a spate of road accidents. A revamped local pub has injected the valley with a shattering surge of inner-city nightlife and drugs. When a dealer is found savagely murdered below the great earthen hillfort of Herefordshire Beacon, police wonder if it is a gangland disposal, a cry of outrage - or something more sinister. Merrily and the police follow separate paths towards the truth until, on a night of frenzied violence, in a place at the centre of an ancient mystery, the final, shocking connections are made.
©2006 Phil Rickman; (P)2007 Isis Publishing Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"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." (Daily Mail)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Tracey Rains on 12-05-08

Disappointing

I have listened to the other two Rickman titles narrated by Emma Powell and loved them. They were so absorbing from the beginning that I couldn't wait to find more time to listen. This one started out like that, and Ms Powell does her usual great job of characterizing voices, but this novel just wanders around aimlessly. None of the novels are heavy on the supernatural, but this one really doesn't focus on it at all. There is some suspicion of supernatural activity, but no more than one might find in any novel since it is never pursued. I was about to write a sentence about what this novel is mainly about, only to find out that I don't really know. The most interesting tangent is that dealing with ley lines, or as Jane prefers, Leys. But that storyline is abandoned for long periods.

Several times, I thought the book was over, only to look and find out that there were still several hours remaining. At this point, I have a bit over two hours left, I and just don't care anymore. I doubt that I will finish in spite of how much I love listening to Ms Powell read.

If you enjoy the Rickman novels, do yourself a favor and skip this one. It has soured me on him for a while.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful


By Meagan vR on 01-08-11

Pretty boring

I tried to give this book a chance and listened well into the second half. It's really boring and nothing is really happening so I'm just giving up. These characters are just sort of wandering around this town trying to gather information about this possibly paranormal event but that's about it. Really a very boring book and only nominally paranormal. It's mostly about the politics of a small town rather than anything supernatural. Also, the narrator does a TERRIBLE American accent.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By A. Watson on 09-05-07

Land of Dope and Gory

?The Remains of an Altar' is the eighth in the Merrily Watkins series, and finds our favourite Vicar investigating ghostly sightings of the composer, Elgar. Things become complicated by the ritual slaying of a local drugs dealer and daughter Jane imposes her own brand of chaos into the mix (with a helping hand from Gomer) by taking on the council to prevent an ancient Ley (line) from being destroyed. As always, Rickman?s writing is eerily atmospheric and has a distinct `sense of place' - and traces of the dark folklore that once served him so well can still be found embedded deep in the background static of the novel. This is a great book, full of twists and unexpected drops into darkness - peppered throughout with sharp humour and self effacing irony.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful


By monica on 04-11-13

The Remains of an Altar

I have tried many times to listen to this book but it fails to hold my attention

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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By Bonita N. Jones on 01-07-17

Didn't see that bullet coming

The best one yet. So many twists and turns. Starting the next one right now.

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