Customer Review

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rickman on top form!, 16 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Magus of Hay (MERRILY WATKINS SERIES) (Kindle Edition)
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. Now that she has finally stared into the abyss and seen the worst part of herself she has nothing more to fear from it. There will inevitably be a period of agonising soul-searching ahead, but she will emerge a much stronger person and a better Deliverance consultant. It's about time, too.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Dec 2013 16:22:19 GMT
Soairse says:
Excellent review. I've just finished 'Prayer of the Night Shepherd' so some way to go before 'The Magus of Hay' but I'm looking forward to it.
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