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This review is from: The Secrets of Pain (Merrily Watkins) (Hardcover)This is a brilliant return to Ledwardine, the postcard pretty English village where darkness lurks behind lace curtains and the taint of old murder has soaked into the timbers of the black and white buildings. Phil Rickman knows where the beating heart of rural malevolence is to be found and he infuses his pages with liberal doses from this wellspring of brooding ichor.
The first half of the book mostly plays like the pastoral guitar picking of a Nick Drake song. It gives us breathing space to wander around an old familiar stamping ground and get re-acquainted with characters we've come to look upon as friends. This is part of the magic of these novels. It's like coming home after a long holiday. Of course it wouldn't be a Rickman book if this period of grace wasn't interspersed with a rising body count and glazed with a thin skein of supernatural disturbance.
Somewhere around the midway point it's like Gomer has fitted afterburners to his JCB. The plot switches into overdrive mode and all you can do is hang on to your hat until it smacks into the buffers at the end of the track with a shriek of grinding metal. So take my advice and prepare yourself for a bad case of whiplash. I had to wear a surgical collar for three days after reading this book.
This ranks up there as one the best Merrily books I've read. It's full of suspense, sly wit, compelling prose, and has a plot that revolves around the mystical undercurrents that secretly exist within the military brotherhood of the SAS.
And as an additional extra - it's big and heavy enough to kill your feuding next door neighbour with if you throw it from an upstairs window. What more can you want from a Phil Rickman novel?
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Sep 2011 17:47:46 BDT
Terry Smith says:
surely that's a bit over the top, even for you Watson - but I did like it
In reply to an earlier post on 10 May 2012 14:46:46 BDT
So nice to read a positive review that cracks u up at the same time! thanks for the laugh
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