The Secrets of Pain

( 2 )

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rickman once again cleverly blends supernatural elements with a conventional whodunit plot. . . . The writing and characterizations are first-rate."  —Publishers Weekly on The Fabric of Sin
Publishers Weekly
Parish priest and exorcist Merrily Watkins, “deliverance consultant for the Diocese of Hereford,” investigates more than one strange death near the Welsh border in Rickman’s eerie 11th mystery to mix the natural and the supernatural (after 2008’s To Dream of the Dead). In an address to an audience of fellow clergy that neatly brings new readers up to speed, Watkins recounts her first deliverance job years before—attending to an old man dying in a Hereford hospital who exuded a fierce sexual energy and “whose touch was like an enema.” Such evocative phrasing helps create an atmosphere of dark menace, even without stock horror elements like vampires or werewolves. Watkins later assists a frightened minister, who, in a prior life, served in “the hardest regiment in the entire history of the British Army,” and probes an apparent suicide. Rickman employs details about an ancient religion to good effect in developing the sophisticated plot. Agent: Andrew Hewson, Johnson & Alcock (U.K.). (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848872752
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Series: Merrily Watkins Mysteries Series , #11
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 626,522
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet 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

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 7, 2012

    More Than Just A Mystery

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    There are few writers in my experience that come close

    To creating the level of elegance Rickman achieves with his writing. This is the type of mystery that borders on the supernatural and his characters are real people you become involved with. I have read everything he has ever written. He is an incredible writer contemporary yet at the same time Victorian in atmosphere. I am happy once again to enjoy the company of Merrily, Jane, Gomer, Lol etal. Rickman is chronic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

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