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The Magus of Hay [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

Phil Rickman , Emma Powell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
Price: 64.20 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Formats

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Kindle Edition 2.99  
Hardcover 12.91  
Paperback 5.78  
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged 64.20  
Audio Download, Unabridged 13.82 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial

Book Description

1 Mar 2014
A man's body is found below a waterfall. It looks like suicide or an accidental drowning - until DI Frannie Bliss enters the dead man's home. What he finds there has him consulting Merrily Watkins, the Diocese of Hereford's official advisor on the paranormal.

It's nearly forty years since the town of Hay-on-Wye was declared an independent state by its self-styled king. A development seen at the time as a joke. But the pastiche had a serious side. And behind it, unknown to most of the townsfolk, lay a darker design, a hidden history of murder and ritual magic, the relics of which are only now becoming visible.

It's a situation that will take Merrily Watkins - on her own for the first time in years and facing public humiliation over a separate case - to the edge of madness.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Product details

  • MP3 CD: 2 pages
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books; Unabridged edition (1 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445036355
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445036359
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)

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. The internationally-acclaimed Merrily Watkins series, about the diocesan exorcist for Hereford, is currently in development 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 (October) 2014 novel, Night After Night is a ghost story and crime novel which 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.


Product Description

Review

Compassionate, original and sharply contemporary, Rickman's crime series is one of the best around --Spectator on the Merrily Watkins series



Ancient history, violent deaths, feuds, intrigues and murder. A most original sleuth --The Times on the Merrily Watkins series



Few writers blend the ancient and supernatural with the modern and criminal better than Rickman --Guardian on the Merrily Watkins series



First rate crime with demons that go bump in the night, --Daily Mail on the Merrily Watkins series --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Phil Rickman lives on the Welsh border where he writes and presents the book programme Phil the Shelf on BBC Radio Wales. He is the hugely popular author of The Bones of Avalon and the Merrily Watkins series. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Town Noir 15 Nov 2013
By Bill B
Format:Hardcover
The Magus of Hay is number twelve in the Merrily Watkins series and here we find the quality and power of its predecessors returning stronger than ever. The 'town of books', Hay-on-Wye, is presented as an eerie place, its characterful old streets full of shadows and uncertainties. Rickman, as ever, evokes a wonderful sense of place.

A chain of events is set in motion by a seemingly ordinary death and a desperate whim to open a bookshop. What follows is the gripping story of unaborted seeds of resentment, how they grow within certain individuals, making them, through their delusions, into portals that allow the entry of evil. Benign spiritual intentions are subverted with sly and cunning deception. A tangled and chilling web indeed. Can Merrily Watkins survive this legacy of past aspiration and its continuing fatal repercussions? Can the battered DI Frannie Bliss keep up the pace?

As a bonus, The Magus of Hay features the welcome return of some familiar characters, a dense atmosphere and beautiful depictions of the landscape in and around Hay.

This novel grabbed me from the outset, unputdownable and plenty of bang for your buck. As is always the case with Phil Rickman's novels, the pages seem to fly past and when the few remaining pages begin to diminish with ever increasing speed, you can't help but wish the novel would never end - one of the most telling signs of a thoroughly satisfying and thrilling read.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 13 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Totally agree with all the praise given so far.

This is a brilliant book and one of Phil's best.

My only complaint is that it was a long time coming and when will the next one be out ! Seriously, it was well worth waiting for and I can't think of anyone who can weave a story that incorporates modern day crime, with old legends, with the supernatural and lots of human interest. Meeting Merrily and her circle again is like catching up with old friends.

Phil, if you are reading this, thank you very much and please don't keep us waiting for the next one !
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Magus 7 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Ever since Lamp of the Wicked, the supernatural quotient of this crime series has been stepped down, notch by notch, until you could be mistaken for thinking Merrily Watkins herself had exorcised all the lurking revenants hiding in the dark shadows between the pages. But just when you think it's finally safe to turn out the lights in Ledwardine, Phil Rickman gives the Creepy-Dial a hard twist to the right and we find ourselves in the middle of an authentically disturbing ghost story woven through with neo-nazis, sexual sadists, and a whole motley collection of Kindle-hating second-hand book sellers. I'm still unsure which of these scares me most.

One disadvantage of having a successful long-running series is the sheer weight of secondary characters picked up along the way, all demanding their own major story line (plus personal luxury trailers) and threatening to defect for Eastenders if they don't get it. So all credit to Rickman for having the courage to stand firm and thin out the pack, giving the stage-set a leaner, more tightly focussed demeanour that allows the spotlight to swing firmly back on Merrily Watkins. Pared back to basics and with fewer characters to juggle with, the story itself rises from the pages in a more direct and urgent fashion.
The underlying theme of `damaged goods' provides a strong undercurrent to the subtext in Magus of Hay with many characters either physically or spiritually compromised, each injury and hurt a mirror fragment reflecting the real principal character of the novel - the ailing and economically moribund Kingdom of Hay. This border town, once newsworthy for a meteoric rise in fortune due to second-hand book-trading is now in serious decline.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best yet. 8 Nov 2013
By Sarah S
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mr Rickman has done it again. Here I am once more at ten to five in the morning, bleary-eyed and blown away by story-telling genius. The magnificent backdrop of Hay- on- Wye gives both class and momentum to this latest page-turner featuring Merrily Watkins, exorcist vicar. I'm not going to give a synopsis as frankly my eyes are crossing, and you've already read what's needful above. All you need now is to know that the book is fantastic, magical, beautifully crafted, chilling in its depiction of evil both corporeal and intangible, and you'll need to clear your decks of other business before you start reading because it's very, very hard to stop.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rickman on top form! 16 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the 12th book in the Merrily series, and quite possibly the best one yet. Phil is definitely on top form with this one.

Boyfriend Lol is out on tour and daughter Jane is off on an archaeological dig for the summer. Left to her own devices, Merrily is thrust out of her comfort zone and also out of her home territory as she gets a call from old friend DI Frannie Bliss to help him investigate a possibly suspicious death near Hay-on-Wye that exhibits some occult overtones.

As usual, events swiftly take a more sinister turn with the disappearance of a young policewoman, and gradually a dark, complex tapestry of Neo-Nazism, sexual sadism and abusive ritual practices emerges, uncovering a decades-long battle between light and dark centred on the town.

Some much-loved characters from previous books make a welcome return; pagans Robin & Betty Thorogood, retired DS Gwyn Arthur Jones and former intelligence officer and ritual magician Athena White all have significant roles to play as the connecting threads of the story are intertwined.

Phil's impeccably-researched knowledge of the area and its history is seamlessly bound into the storyline and the inclusion of real places and events adds bucket loads of credibility to the fictional happenings. I've only visited Hay once, but this makes me want to go again so that I can wander round the streets of the town and the surrounding locations so vividly described in the book.

This is a real coming-of-age adventure for Merrily, as in the chilling dénouement she is forced to encounter her own dark centre and grasp the true source of her power. Previously she has shied away from this confrontation, preferring to seek refuge in cigarettes, scepticism and self-doubt.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars clever and thrilling as they are this one left me feeling quite sick...
I always find the novels by Phil Rickman draw me in, clever and thrilling as they are this one left me feeling quite sick but that is not to say it was a bad read, on the contrary... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Dione
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love Merrily watkins
Published 2 days ago by Julie Chenery
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I missed Jane and Lol but is was great to have Betty and Robin in another brilliant Merrily Watkins book
Published 3 days ago by Mary Wilde
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good read
A Phil Rickman fan so it was a foregone conclusion
Published 9 days ago by Dodo
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent read, but doesn't measure up to the rest of the series
I've read all eleven of the previous books in this series over the past fifteen or so years, which is an obvious indication of how much I've enjoyed them. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Joanne Sheppard
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read.
A really good read with a difference. A page turner.
Published 12 days ago by DCentbooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
another excellent read.
Published 15 days ago by Lynn
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magus of Hay (MERRILY WATKINS SERIES)
Brilliant books. Love Merrily Watkins
Published 18 days ago by Seven1945
5.0 out of 5 stars oh dear its going to be such a long time ...
oh dear its going to be such a long time till theres a new merrily book out i managed to keep this for 2 weeks before i started it but then couldnt put it down
Published 28 days ago by cathie
3.0 out of 5 stars Another one finished
I enjoyed this one but missed Jane and Lol. Hope they are back in time for the next one. Next time I am in the Hereford/borders area I shall view it with fresh eyes.
Published 1 month ago by nita
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