Customer Review

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, 10 Jan. 2002
This review is from: The Cure of Souls (A Revd Merrily Watkins mystery) (Hardcover)
2001 was a good year for Phil Rickman fans, with two new novels to his name. (OK, three if you include Phil's, erm, partner-in-crime, Will Kingdom novel, MEAN SPIRIT.) For my money, though, this one is the best of them.
It's summer, and the temperature's rising in more ways than one. A haunted hop-kiln. a drop-out trainee psychotherapist/sensitive musician (yep, folks, Lol Robinson's back, after being criminally dismissed from the last book in a couple of sentences), the wonderful and irreverent Simon St John (from DECEMBER; along with Prof Levin and Simon's missus, with her useful collection of carnal verbs), as well as Annie Howe, whom we see a lot more of than the last book, too. Jane is here, too, of course, Merrily's new-age daughter (think a pagan version of Winona Ryder in MERMAIDS), desperate to unburden herself of certain things you really do want to get rid of at 16.
This is a sexy book. Its motifs recurr nicely in Rickman's spare yet full descriptions of the countryside all the action occurs in. The supporting cast is, as ever, great and quirky; the dialogue sparkles -this is how people really do talk - and the plot powers everything along to an inevitable conclussion.
This is Phil's 4th Rev Watkins book, and by now, according to series' conventions, she should be staking vampires and shooting werewolves in an unavoidable escalation of events. But no, Rickman's smarter than that, he knows characterisation is what keeps people interested, not stakes and silver bullets. And with Merrily, Jane and Lol he's on to a winner.
This is one of my favourite reads of the year; great characters and a great story which Rickman puts to bed nicely. Of course you should get a copy
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Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

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