This is the fourth of Rickman's books about priest and Deliverance minister Merrily Watkins. And by 'Deliverance' it means that she deals with the apparent supernatural. On this occasion it's a mix of familiar elements: a spirit that refuses to leave a kiln where a brutal murder took place, and a young girl apparently possessed by evil. What Rickman is very good at doing is creating a sense of foreboding, and building a suitably convoluted tale in a small village where the nouveau riche are exerting their financial power over those who have lived in the area for generations. Add to this Romany gypsies and a hint of black magic and you get the general idea.
I'd say Rickman is an author who is consistently good without being consistently great. I think this is the sixth of his books that I have read, and they have all been intriguing and held my attention. I think all of them have been a little too long for the amount of story contained within, but his characters are very good (he has a real flair for dialogue) and the mysteries they become involved in are well-plotted with a fair amount of surprises thrown in.
This is proving to be a very reliable and enjoyable series.