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The Secrets of Pain Hardcover – Sep 1 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; Main edition (Sept. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848872739
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848872738
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 5.1 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #441,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Compassionate, original and sharply contemporary, Rickman's crime series is one of the best around Spectator Ancient history, violent deaths, feuds, intrigues and murder. A most original sleuth. The Times Few writers blend the ancient and supernatural with the modern and criminal better than Rickman - Merrily Watkins is both strikingly original and consistently intriguing... A fascinating portrayal of ancient grudges and shifting allegiances make this an absorbing and thought-provoking thriller. Guardian First rate crime with demons that go bump in the night. Daily Mail A dark no man's land where murder mingles with superstition. Brilliant. ANDREW TAYLOR

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.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
How could these topics be connected? With a great deal of research and imagination, Phil has once again developed a thought provoking plot. There is an intricate story line, connecting murder, animal cruelty and the paranormal.

I plan to re-read this novel and because I own the book, I will take the liberty of making notes in the margins and hi-lighting certain items so I can delve a little deeper into certain subjects.

Merrily is trying to find out what happened to a fellow vicar, Syd Spicer with the aid of boyfriend, Lol. Jane attempts to prove an incomer to the area is responsible for despicable acts of animal cruelty. Gomer and his love for heavy machinery provides some comic relief at the right moments.

This review would not be complete if I did not mention Frannie Bliss. All I can say is, I am anxiously awaiting installment 12 in the Merrily Watkins series to learn the outcome of Frannie's frazzled personal life.
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