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Secrets Of Pain, The [Hardcover]

Phil Rickman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 11 2011 Merrily Watkins Mysteries (Book 11)
The elite warriors of the Hereford-based SAS know all about pain and the enduring of it. Syd Spicer, ex-SAS trooper, has found himself back the Regiment—this time as its chaplain, responsible for the spiritual welfare of the hardest men in or out of uniform. Faced with a case which would normally be passed discreetly to Hereford diocesan exorcist Merrily Watkins, Spicer is forced, for security reasons, to try and handle it himself and is coming close to a breakdown. Meanwhile, the scattered communities along the Welsh border have their own crisis. With recession biting deep, urban crime has spilled into the countryside and old barbaric evils are revived. When a wealthy landowner is hacked to death in his own farmyard, the senior investigating officer, DI Frannie Bliss is caught in the backlash, his private life in danger of exposure. With the framework of her own world beginning to crack, Merrily Watkins is persuaded to venture into areas where neither a priest nor a woman is welcome to unearth secrets linked with the border's pagan past—secrets which she knows can never be disclosed.

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"* 'Middle England at its most sinister... very difficult to put down' - The Bookseller * 'A rich hinterland of politicking clerics and mother-daughter growing pains... makes for an entertaining read, with shivers' - The Guardian * '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. We don't praise our home-grown thriller writers enough. It's high time we praised Phil Rickman.' - Daily Mail * 'Rickman is an excellent writer, terrific on atmosphere' - The Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Phil Rickman lives on the Welsh border where he writes and presents the book programme Phil the Shelf on BBC Radio Wales. He is the hugely popular author of The Bones of Avalon and the Merrily Watkins Mysteries.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a book I would ever re-read in the future! May 13 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was not up to his usual standard and although I have loved the series, (and have all the books) I'm not so sure I will be reading any more. The characters in this one don't seem true, the story line suffers, I don't get the usual "good read" vibe from it at all. Its almost as if he has to do a book to fulfill a contract and more or less cobbles it together. Unsatisfactory.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Merrily is Back! May 18 2012
I was so excited when I learned that Phil Rickman had published a new Merrily Watkins novel at long last.

With all of the twists and turns you could imagine, this does not disappoint...except that Merrily doesn't seem to be the main character this time. And the problems don't have that "deliverance" aspect that we've grown to love.

A great read for anyone who loves a good detective novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Just A Mystery March 6 2012
The latest book in the Merrily Watkins saga does not disappoint. This is the largest tome in the series, for good reason. The story is chock full of twists and turns, telling what appears to be at least four different stories. Never fear, by the end Rickman pulls it all together in his usual fashion. He is a master craftsman who never fails to provide a perfectly finished product.

In this one we learn more about the SAS, military heroes who endure the most rigorous training to become the best in the world and sometimes make deep sacrifices in their personal lives. We also follow Frannie Bliss as he investigates a seemingly racially motivated murder of two immigrant women. Jane, Merrily's daughter, is occupied with discovering the existence of an exceptionally cruel 'sport' occurring in Ledwardine. While all this is going on Merrily looks into the death of a former colleague which leads to a strange, militaristic cult created by the followers of Mithras.

As usual, Rickman provides us with a fascinating history lesson as well as trenchant observations about the changes occurring in England's small towns.

When you finish this book, you will come away feeling that you have had an experience that is seldom found in the average mystery novel.
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