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Phil Rickman

Autor(a) de The Wine of Angels

42+ Works 6,094 Membros 218 Críticas 40 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: copyright John Mason.


Obras por Phil Rickman

The Wine of Angels (1998) 600 exemplares
Midwinter of the Spirit (1999) 430 exemplares
Curfew (1993) 364 exemplares
A Crown of Lights (2001) 344 exemplares
The Cure of Souls (2001) 329 exemplares
The Bones of Avalon (2010) 304 exemplares
The Lamp of the Wicked (2002) 303 exemplares
The Remains of an Altar (2006) 296 exemplares
The Prayer of the Night Shepherd (2004) 289 exemplares
December (1994) 284 exemplares
The Smile of a Ghost (2005) 259 exemplares
Candlenight (1991) 256 exemplares
The Fabric of Sin (2007) 242 exemplares
The Man in the Moss (1994) 228 exemplares
The Chalice (1997) 227 exemplares
To Dream of the Dead (2008) 218 exemplares
The Secrets of Pain (2011) 167 exemplares
The Heresy of Dr Dee (2012) 138 exemplares
The Magus of Hay (2013) 133 exemplares
The Cold Calling (1998) 110 exemplares
Mean Spirit (2001) 92 exemplares
Friends of the Dusk (2015) 85 exemplares
All of a Winter's Night (2017) 80 exemplares
Night After Night (2014) 79 exemplares
The House of Susan Lulham (2014) 67 exemplares
The Fever of the World (2019) 36 exemplares
The Wine of Angels | Candlenight (1900) 25 exemplares
The Man in the Moss / Crybbe (2005) 15 exemplares
Mysterious Lancashire (1977) 8 exemplares
Mysterious Cheshire (1980) 6 exemplares
Mysterious Derbyshire (1977) 6 exemplares
La nuit celte (1999) 3 exemplares

Associated Works

OxCrimes (2014) — Contribuidor — 72 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Lancashire, England, UK



This was not the book I had anticipated at all, given its beginning. It starts off with a tragedy which strikes Gomer Parry, one of the most likeable characters in this series. The Reverend Merrily Watkins accompanies him for moral support - and because he has been in the pub when he got the call and needs someone else to drive his van - to the scene of his business premises where all his digger vehicles are stored. An even worse discovery awaits than the destruction of Gomer's livelihood, and they are soon off to a house where he had earlier agreed to remove a badly fitted upmarket septic tank for a woman who appeared too scared to call back Roddy Lodge, the original contractor, Gomer being convinced that Roddy - who has left a threatening message on his answerphone - has torched his premises.

A confrontation with Roddy, who is there at night apparently removing the tank himself, soon escalates into a murder enquiry. And the book starts to take a different turn, first with Roddy's seeming madness and 'confession' of being a mass murderer, and then with the effect of electrical energy on human health, for Roddy's village is surrounded by electricity pilons and his home is right next to one. Finally, the dominant theme of the second part of the book takes over where the real life serial killers, Fred (now deceased) and Rosemary West, become an integral part of the story.

The book was extremely dark and full of depression: for a start, Merrily's 17-year-old daughter Jane is suffering from it, having lost her starry eyed belief in spirits of nature and other such New Age topics and now seeing no point in human existence. Merrily's mentor, Huw, is another sufferer and seeking some redemption for the loss of his love, a woman whose daughter was murdered, probably by West or some disciple of his, and who eventually committed suicide. The community where Roddy lives is also dogged by a dark presence in the former Baptist chapel. The only light relief in the book is the possibility of Merrily's lover Lol finally getting back on stage and being able to perform again, and Moira, the Scots singer who is helping him to do that.

I found the basing of the story on the real life crimes of the Wests unacceptable. There are obviously a lot of people still living who have either lost loved ones at their hands, or who have to live with the knowledge that they will never know if the Wests were responsible for the disappearance of their relatives in that general area around that time. Plus those who were survivors of the awful abuse that went on at the Wests' house. The book was actually published in 2003, not that long after the events in question either. I think a story could have been written where the same ideas were used - electromagnetism and its effect on human mental health, practitioners of sex magic and how that might shade into sexual abuse and murder - without having to have it be about these real life people. For me, it trivialised the suffering of the victims and their families, and so I'm afraid this has to be a 1-star even though it was well written - because I just didn't like it.
… (mais)
kitsune_reader | 9 outras críticas | Nov 23, 2023 |
A return to this series for me having read volume 3 some years ago. This is book 1 in the series and Merrily Watkins, newly qualified vicar, is installed as Priest-in-Charge (not quite a full vicar) in a small Herefordshire village in an enormous old vicarage where she and her teenage daughter Jane are rattling around like the proverbial peas. There is an undercurrent of unease starting with the unscheduled event during an apple orchard Wassailing ritual, and building through the book as it becomes clear that there are a number of very unpleasant secrets among old families, stemming back to at least the seventeenth century.

I liked the characters of Jane and old Gomer Parish, a retired plant and machinery man (who was still working in 'Crybbe', a non-Merrily Watkins Rickman novel I read a while back). My favourite character was the eccentric elderly woman, Lucy. I wasn't so keen on Merrily: I'm afraid I find her irritating, too quick to constantly dismiss evidence of supernatural activity and rather ineffectual for her role. I also wasn't happy that, as in 'Crybbe', the author once more resorts to killing off one of the more interesting characters although this time it was at least quite late on.

The revelations of what is really going on in the village are chilling but took too long to come out for me, and were over too quickly and skimpily. It was also left a bit vague as to a key event at the end - was Jane transported away to safety in the orchard by the fay folk and if so, was Lol Robinson really "covered" legally regarding his justifiable (if she was in the clutches of a ruthless murderer) action otherwise?. So given the problems I found, I would rate this a 3-star quite enjoyable read, but no higher.
… (mais)
kitsune_reader | 30 outras críticas | Nov 23, 2023 |
While this book was a slower-paced book, I really enjoyed the world-building and character development.
It really was a true mystery and in a small English town so super creepy b/c it could actually happen.
StarKnits | 30 outras críticas | Jul 24, 2023 |



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