Merrily is a most original sleuth and an interesting, sparky woman of emotional and spiritual depth. Rickman is an excellent writer, terrific on atmosphere…The best so far - The Times
I thoroughly recommend both these books …. They would make a solid Christmassy read, appropriate to the season … Rickman's work has a satisfying refusal to find easy answers or to take sides in spiritual debates. The destabilizing combination of death and religion is fascinatingly observed in this series. What T.S.Eliot did for Canterbury Cathedral, Rickman does for Hereford - Shotsmag on Fabric of Sin and To Dream of the Dead.
Phil Rickman manages to neatly reconcile the various strands of the plot to provide a satisfying dramatic conclusion, and characterization and dialogue are sharp and witty; the author provides a neat satire on village life in the 'new Cotswolds' - EuroCrime.co.uk.
From the Inside Flap
The clouds had closed down the moon, and the village lights shone brighter as if in a kind of panic… Late December and the river is rising. The Herefordshire village of Ledwardine has not been flooded in living memory; prosperous incomers and weekenders, lured by dreams of woodsmoke and mulled wine, have been assured it will never happen. But in these days of climate change nothing is certain. Merrily Watkins, parish priest and diocesan exorcist, has learned that one of the incomers, living incognito in a barn conversion, is an author whose aggressive, evangelical atheism has made him a figure of hate for religious fundamentalists. The writer's wife is becoming conspicuously agitated - is it the fear of discovery of the kind of fear that she, of all people, could never disclose? Meanwhile, another kind of religious conflict flares, as the Welsh border county digs up its pagan past. Only days before Christmas, police in the city of Hereford make a gruesome discovery, linked to the unearthing of the Dinedor Serpent, a unique prehistoric ritual monument threatened by a new road. In Ledwardine itself, a team led by a controversial TV archaeologist is uncovering the buried Bronze Age stones of Coleman's Meadow - an exciting time for Merrily's teenage daughter, Jane, but the last thing some people want is for these stones to stand again. Overnight, the village is isolated in the floods, cut off with a killer inside - a new kind of killer for a cold new age. As the waters rise, shocking savagery paralyses an ancient community untangling its own history against the swirling uncertainty of the future.