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The Fabric of Sin: A Merrily Watkins Mystery (Merrily Watkins Mysteries Book 9) by [Rickman, Phil]
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The Fabric of Sin: A Merrily Watkins Mystery (Merrily Watkins Mysteries Book 9) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Length: 543 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

Compassionate, original and sharply contemporary. Rickman's crime series is one of the best around - Spectator (Spectator)

First rate. A passionate, flawed modern woman, every bit as concerned with the intricacies of crime as with demons that go bump in the night - Daily Mail (Daily Mail)

Book Description

A ninth chilling case for vicar and exorcist Merrily Watkins

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1449 KB
  • Print Length: 543 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (6 Sept. 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005CNS58E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,606 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Sept. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Merrily Watkins, Deliverance Consultant for the Diocese of Hereford, is asked to look into an apparently ghostly happening in a very old house which appears to have Templar connections. The house has just been purchased by the Duchy of Cornwall and everything is being treated as very important and `need to know' by Merrily's boss, the Bishop. Before long the pace is hotting up and an apparent murder and suicide brings the police into the equation.

This is an intriguing story with many ramifications and connections with the recent past as well as events many centuries ago. The writing draws you into the story and you feel as though you know the characters. Lol Robinson - musician - starting out on his second career; Merrily herself who fears that Deliverance will be taken away from her; Frannie Bliss - exile from Merseyside; Jane Watkins - Merrily's teenage daughter who is starting to be wise beyond her years.

If you want something a bit different from normal crime and mystery stories then try any of this fascinating series. They can be read in any order but it is interesting to see the development of the series characters if you read the books in the order in which they were published. The series started with `The Wine of Angels.'
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Format: Hardcover
A classic series - something that will live on beyond our time - is unfolding before us. Merrily Watkins may be 'only' a literary' creation of Mr Rickman's mind, but she seems more like real-life flesh and blood to me. Not only that, but Rickman (or Merrily...) is dealing with 'big issues' here: theology, philosophy, the nature of human interaction with this imperfect world - all included organically within an fantastic story. In short, I unreservedly recommended this book - and all its suberb predecessors.
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Format: Hardcover
Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins novels are The Archers meets Dennis Wheatley at MR James's house. They tick so many boxes. Rural escapism? Yep. Crime procedural? Yes. Supernatural chills? Naturally. Fascinating facts about, say, the Templars, or Celtic mythology or Elgar or cider or the metaphysical poets or the C of E's stance on exorcism? All present and correct. It's one of life's great mysteries why Phil Rickman isn't up there with Ian Rankin and Ken Follett in the bestseller lists. And why don't we see Merrily on the telly? Perfect Sunday evening viewing I would have thought. Move over Midsomer Murders. Anyway, as usual, another winner from Rickman.
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Format: Hardcover
If someone like Phil Rickman had been my history teacher in high school, I probably would have got better grades and an earlier interest in what may be the most fascinating subject of all. The point is, he does meticulous research and has the ability to make it come alive for the reader. Merrily's Border Country is steeped in ancient mysteries that can only be speculated about; so much is shrouded in the depths of time. This time out we have the Knights Templar and their connection with present day Freemasonry. Also there is a reference to the writer, M. R. James, without whose wonderful ghost stories many of us would have been cheated out of the experience of shivering in our beds late at night, searching the shadows and thinking, "There's no such thing as ghosts. Really there isn't..."

But this certainly isn't some musty old tome written by an academic. This is the ninth (and you will see the significance of that number in the story) adventure with Merrily Watkins, her daughter Jane and her extended family. At this point poor Merrily is very stressed and who wouldn't be in her situation? Her position as Diocesan Exorcist is in jeopardy with the distinct possibility of losing it and having to take on multiple parishes much like the circuit riding preachers of old in the U.S. That, coupled with the gruesome things she has seen, would be enough to drive the most stable of us over the edge. But we are seeing her eventually becoming toughened by her experiences. She may still have self doubts but she won't be pushed around, even by her superiors.

Helping in her investigation into the strange events surrounding the Master House in Garway are her lover, Lol Robinson and her daughter Jane.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think I enjoyed this book even more than the previous books in the Merrily Watkins series, because in this story Rickman really concentrates on Merrily herself, her relationships with Lol and Jane, and the challenges he sets her as a character. Merrily is strong and central here: vulnerable, with her doubts, yet tough and focussed when questioning evasive people. More than ever before I feel her tremendous depth as a character, her believability, her humanity and her goodness. We as readers can be very clear Merrily doesn't buy into all the different new age theologies, and equally clear that Rickman doesn't buy into them either. This is one of his great gifts; that he can deal with a vast canvas of beliefs and ideas, yet the reader is clear where the author stands, with his wise, examining, surveying stance, and his sure observation of the psychology of the border country.

Reading Rickman's narrative, I believe in the goodness that lies behind all Merrily's insecurity, vulnerability and mistakes; in fact, it is her goodness upon which the stories turn. Rickman is sure on his feet in this shifting spiritual and psychological territory. He handles it all with such subtlety and wisdom. We never find ourselves thinking, Am I meant to believe....? We are just being asked to survey and consider alongside him. And when those higher up in the C of E hierarchy such as the bishop criticise Merrily we can usually understand why, as there are solid pragmatic reasons that we can see and recognise, even when we don't like the bishop for it. And indeed it is the bishop who sums up the essence of Merrily: "You always go too bloody deep, Merrily... Anybody else, it would be in and out, a quick blessing, a Requiem. You had to ask questions, even getting Jane to ask questions. At school.
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