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Candlenight (PHIL RICKMAN BACKLIST Book 1)

Candlenight (PHIL RICKMAN BACKLIST Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Phil Rickman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Grimly sinister. Written with blood-curdling aplomb. --Sunday Telegraph

Gripping throughout. Powerful, classic stuff. --The Times

Crisp prose, excellent dialogue and a real sense of mounting evil. --Time Out

Product Description

Corpse-candles. Phantom funerals. The bird of death. It was insidious . . .

For Bethan, the schoolteacher, the old superstitions woven into the social fabric of her West Wales village are primitive and distasteful, which is why she's pleased to welcome the sophisticated newcomers: London journalist Giles Freeman and his wife Claire. Surely they'll let in some fresh air?

But the Freemans are keen to absorb this different culture, a whole new way of life, rejecting the advice of an old colleague who warns them of a hard and bitter land where they've always danced on the edge of the abyss. They soon learn that this community hides an ancient, bloody, and pagan secret-one that will haunt them forever.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 872 KB
  • Print Length: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus; Reprint edition (29 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857896946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857896940
  • ASIN: B005UE6I3O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,082 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and Understated Horror!! 5 May 2006
By bobsmum
I only recently discovered Phil Rickman accidently while leafing through a used book shop. I'm hooked!!

I think this is the first book that he wrote and it shows in that it's not quite as polished as the others and doesn't really have a satisfactory climax as lots of questions are left unanswered. However, don't let that put you off. Superbly written, subtle and understated, definitely for those who prefer their horror more psychological than in your face gore.

I go to Wales on holiday quite regularly, living just the other side of the Severn Bridge as I do, but I'll definitely be looking beneath that Welsh Welcome from now on!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark magic 28 Jun 2005
I live in Wales, am Welsh to the backbone and was brought up on the legends behind this novel (well, all of them except the Black Gorsedd for which I am truly grateful) and it still managed to give me the creeps. Mr. Rickman has an incredibly clever way of putting a new spin on old legends and the way he managed to transform the first welcoming image of Y Groes into the chilling suffocation of what lay beneath the surface was magnificent. It isn't quite as smooth as some of his other books but I would firmly recommend it. When half way through reading it I had to take a short cut between two places where I was working - a short cut that took me up an isolated, single track road reputedly haunted both by spirits and the tylwyth teg. Normally it is one of my favourite runs - that day I couldn't stop checking my rear view mirror - such is the power of Mr. Rickman's writings.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindlenight 22 Oct 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I remember buying this when it was first published, mainly due to the eye catching front cover. To clinch the deal there was £1 off along with a cast-iron guarantee that if the book didn't live up to its blurb you got your money back. (Being a tight fisted Scot these things are important) As it turned out - there was never any danger of `Candlenight' being returned for a refund. Back then the so-called `horror market' was saturated with luridly written novels of inner city death and devilment, each one trying desperately to outdo the others in terms of shock value. Therefore I was happy to discover Phil Rickman's book was something very different from the norm, placing the story very firmly in rural Wales and using a more subtle writing technique than any of his predecessors. `Candlenight' is a potent mixture of Welsh folklore and the dangers of uprooting yourself from the everyday boredom of suburbia and relocating to an area where the locals burn corpse candles while hiding behind a thin veneer of Christianity as they secretly pay homage to the old `Dark Bards' of blood splattered Welsh history.

`Candlenight' is a novel that relies on atmosphere and suspense to hook the reader and carry them forward to the dark places of the book where the shadows lie in wait with sharpened sickles. Miles Davies once said that it was the spaces between the notes that were important and Phil Rickman uses this philosophy to great effect. Cheap-thrill seekers should stick with the ever increasingly gore streaked excesses of lesser writers as this book is far more clever and cultured and demands more from its readers than a bad case of acne and studded leather wrist bands. A great first book from Phil Rickman, blazing the trail for what was to follow.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable 6 Sep 2002
I picked this book up on a whim because I liked the cover and the back made it sound good, got it home and didn't put it down. Phil Rickman somehow manages to take old legends set in modern times and make it seem not only realistic but also scary enough to send a shiver down your spine. It's fantastically written, filled with believable characters and genuinely creepy. Thoroughly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Candlefright 4 Nov 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Y Groes: a small isolated Welsh village which seems to have everything.
The soil is more fertile and the climate so much better than the surrounding area - and the inhabitants are welcoming to strangers, even the English.
Young couple Giles and Claire decide to move there when Claire inherits a house from her estranged grandfather, whom she met only once, when she was so young that she doesn't even remember it.
Giles, especially, is enthusiastic about the move but it's Claire who is soon drawn into the life and customs of the village - and increasingly away from Giles.
When Giles becomes ill it's his American journalist friend, along with the young village schoolteacher, who starts to suspect that there is something sinister lurking beneath the idyllic facade of the village.
Why are there no incomers living there, no houses bought as weekend cottages?
Things come to a head around the time of a local by election, a marginal which Plaid Cymru is hopeful of winning. A group of journalists, in the area to cover the proceedings, find themselves in the midst of something they certainly hadn't bargained for.
Candlenight is a beautifully written, supernatural mystery story which has been out of print for a few years but is now available on Kindle - and a new paperback version is promised for next year.
Not before time!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wales - a dark land! 4 Feb 2003
By Andrew Foulds VINE VOICE
Magnificent - full of foreboding and brooding danger.You will never go to wales again .I loved this book as with all his work difficult to put down and difficult to sleep afterwards . His first novel and one of his best.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Under-rated genius.
Phil Rickman has to be one of the top 20 best living writers. Unfortunately, because his stories contain elements of the paranormal,he tends to be over-looked in favour of what I... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dee jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Christine Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously creepy
Well researched, sinister and chilling thriller. Good characterisation. Don't take on holiday to Wales!
Published 4 months ago by CD
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, loved it!!!
Loved this book, the perfect and picturesque backdrop of a remote village in Wales is the perfect setting for a gripping read where the tension simmers all the way through. Read more
Published 6 months ago by b a plume
4.0 out of 5 stars Deepest, darkest Wales
The book develops well, and the mystery deepens with chilling horror over three quarters of it. However, I found the mystically induced body count to be rather far fetched, and... Read more
Published 8 months ago by BarbaraM
5.0 out of 5 stars Rickman
If you haven't read anything by Phil Rickman start now.Each book can be read as a stand alone, but the more books in the Merrily Watkins genre you read the deeper your knowledge... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Liz Beirne
3.0 out of 5 stars Candlenight
I have read most of Phil Rickman's Books. This is the only one I have read that I am finding hard going. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Dione
2.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment!
My first time reading this author after a glowing recommendation. The book started off very slowly, the characters were uninteresting. Read more
Published 12 months ago by 2stroke engine
4.0 out of 5 stars great for a kindle
This is the sort of thing thats perfect for an ereader. download anything he's done when the price is right and enjoy . Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary
Gripping, bit depressing, but great writing as ever from this author,. have the Merrily Watkins series, so tried this, and will try another...
Published 16 months ago by tasha
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