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A Crown of Lights MP3 CD – MP3 Audio, 1 Dec 2008


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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books (1 Dec. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753133733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753133736
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,970,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Phil Rickman writes mystery in the original sense. His current novels blend authentic crime fiction with a careful element of the unexplained. Midwinter of the Spirit, from the internationally-acclaimed Merrily Watkins series about the diocesan exorcist for Hereford, is currently in production with ITV Drama.

Rickman, a former TV and radio news reporter who still presents the book programme Phil the Shelf on BBC Radio Wales, has also written two historical novels with a new take on Dr John Dee, astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I. His earliest novels - paranormal thrillers based on aspects of British folklore - are all in print. His only short story, The House of Susan Lulham, can be found in the anthology Oxcrimes and he's also a contributor to Books to Die For, in which crime writers celebrate their literary heroes.

The 2014 novel, Night After Night is a ghost story and crime novel (not exactly horror or Young Adult, as you may have read elsewhere). It stands alone but involves characters from two thrillers originally written under the name Will Kingdom. A new Merrily Watkins novel is pencilled-in for 2015. PR has also collaborated with musician Allan Watson to produce on CD and iTunes the songs of Lol Robinson from the Merrily series and the Abbey Tapes from his early novel December. He is married and lives on the Welsh Border.

For the full and accurate facts, check out the website www.philrickman.co.uk.



Product Description

Review

The paranormal investigator with a down-to-earth attitude. This is no rural paradise --Sunday Telegraph

A haunting quality unique in crime fiction... rich in atmosphere and practically unique --Great British Fictional Detectives, Russell James --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

A disused church near a Welsh border hamlet has already been sold off by the Church when it's discovered that the new owners are 'pagans' who intend to use the building for their own rituals. The local rector, an extreme evangelical, is appalled and blames these inoffensive middle-class witches for infesting the whole community with evil… even calling in the diocesan exorcist, Revd Merrily Watkins. An atmosphere of stifling menace develops - with the persecution of innocent people, false accusations, and the formation of a Christian vigilante group.

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 at Candlemass, she is unaware of a personal threat against her from a deranged and violent man.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Harold E. Means Jr. on 19 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
Rickman rocks; he delivers with yet another exciting thriller. In the third Merrily Watkins
installment,he really keeps you guessing. You feel
the tension build and you want more. Some of those quaint little towns hold nasty little secrets. By all means, do not miss. It's a ride
you won't soon forget!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Jan. 2002
Format: Hardcover
A young Wiccan couple, newcomers to the mysterious area of the English/Welsh border, who want to reconsecrate a ruined church on their land in the name of the old pagan gods.
A fundamentalist local minister who is profoundly provoked by this, all the more as this church is one of five dedicated to St Michael, warrior against dragons.
A country solicitor who cannot seem to let his dead wife go.
And Old Hindwell, the small border community, holds quite a few more dark and unsettling secrets. In the midst of all this and with conflicts growing on all sides, the Rev. Merrily Watkins, 'diocesan deliverance consultant', finds herself not only in a situation where her own beliefs and loyalty to the church are seriously tested, but also on late-night trash TV to represent the Church against militant pagans. When she finds out the truth about the shadowy secrets of Old Hindwell's spiritual legacy, she puts her own life at risk.
'A Crown of Lights', the third in the 'Merrily Watkins'-series, is a brilliant blend of crime novel, supernatural suspense and murder mystery. The characters and the setting are so utterly real and believable that you seem to see and hear and smell and feel as your read, you are take right into the eerie athmosphere. A book "you live as well as you read", so while you're at it, take a few days off work, unhook the phone and find a baby-sitter! (and when you've finished, look forward to the sequel...).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Mar. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Merrily Watkins - self doubting, chain smoking, single-parent deliverance minister - finds herself embroiled in a complex web of death, deceit and the questionable religious beliefs of a small Border community. A decommissioned church stands on the land of an incoming pagan couple, who want to reconsecrate it to the pagan faith...This soon becomes the focus of a battle played out both on Earth and...elsewhere. Merrily finds it increasingly sifficult to support the local evangelical minister and soon discovers dark secrets bubbling beneath the surface of this small tight knit community which, left unchallenged, could result in a devastating evil. With nobody else willing to blow the whistle, Merrily goes it alone and unwittingly places herself in mortal danger...
A Crown of Lights illustrates that there is no comfortable demarcation between good and evil, and the unsettling ending provides scope for a sequel. Geographical locations are once again richly drawn, and the author's candid portrayal of the complex aspects of human nature prevents even his minor characters from being too stereotypical. His characteristic humour also shines through at exactly the right moments, his plot twists are expertly handled and although you may not find the portrayal of fanatics both sides of the spiritual divide entirely appealing, you'll have difficulty in denying they exist. A superb and gripping read which is, above all else, utterly believeable.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "raven_darkholme" on 13 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
Of course Merrily isn't a good detective. She's a priest (and a damn good one at that.) I really enjoyed the latest Merrily Watkins book, I've now read them all and I've come to think of the recurring characters a little like old friends (kinda like Stephen Kings Castle Rock stories) and it was good to catch up with Merrily, Jane and 'Irene' again. I love pagan/christian aspect of this book and the way that Rickman takes issues that are bubbling away in real life and then finds a situation that exagerates them and turn it into a total believable thriller/ghost/mystery story, packed full of believable characters and this series just keeps getting better and better. It's also a joy to find a bloke that can actually create and write realistic female characters across an age range. As far as I'm concerned, Rickman's work just keeps getting better. I managed to read this book in a day and a half and I enjoyed every single word of it. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Jun. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Phil Rickman just gets better and better and the Merrily books are his finest work yet. I look forward to each release as it is like visiting old friends. Take my advise buy this book and if you have not got the two previous ones buy them as well, In fact buy all his books you wont regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`A Crown of Lights', written in 2001, is the third book in this excellent series and the fourth I have read. As usual, it can be read as a stand-alone novel.

This time the setting is in the remoter parts of rural Radnorshire, where an abandoned and ruined parish church becomes the focal point of pagan worship. Naturally, the evangelical wing of the church under a local charismatic preacher opposes this, and the stage is thus set for some thunder and lightning in the valley. All the talk of problems with `local' people and `local' issues reminded me of `The League of Gentlemen', but whereas there is the usual intermittent humour, the tale told is much darker.

Rickman's use of similes run from the sublime - "The small falling sun picked up the arc of a thin river around the boundary, like an eroded copper bangle" - to the ridiculous - "Her voice was flat as nan bread" - but one cannot deny his talent for storytelling. His humour is also present, such as when he ponders the meaning of a borders place-name: "Perhaps some chopped-off, mangled Anglicisation of a Welsh phrase which meant `obscure-church-at-the-end-of-the-narrow-road-that-goes-on-for-ever'."

The title comes from a pagan candle-crown - "in the headdress, a ring of tiny flames, a sacred circle of candle-spears, a crown of lights" - that is worn by the `mother' at the celebration of Imbolc. On the telephone to her bishop Merrily remarks how, "In parts of America, witchcraft is awfully respectable these days." To which the bishop replies, "Merrily, this is Radnorshire".

Meanwhile Merrily is exposed as an exorcist on live TV. (To depict the programme as a late-night discussion would be too kind and sedate a description.
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