So complex, excellent dialogue, characters you really care about, mysteries and spiritualism, and historical fiction. Apr 07, Rachel rated it really liked it. I listened to it as an audio book and thoroughly enjoyed it.source link
The Remains of an Altar
Great characters and enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. The Remains of an Altar starts with Merrily investigating some road traffic accidents, the accidents are believed to be being caused by lights in the road and other strange phenomenon. However as Merrily soon discovers the village of Wychehill is harboring other secrets and when an apparent drug dealer is murdered in what appears to be a ritualistic killing everything is up for ques Just love this series, Phil Rickman is such a good writer, I am in love with Merrily, Jane, Lol and good old Gomer.
However as Merrily soon discovers the village of Wychehill is harboring other secrets and when an apparent drug dealer is murdered in what appears to be a ritualistic killing everything is up for questioning. Another great title in the series, I enjoyed the second story to which followed Jane and her search for preservation of a lay line.
Also learnt the history of Elgar from this book. All in all another great edition to the series and I am now in the process of devouring book 9. Having bought all the other books I cannot see anything stopping me from reading them all! Jul 25, Marcus Wilson rated it it was amazing Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
To view it, click here. I'm enjoying the Merrily Watkins Mysteries, but this one is by far my favourite so far. Its set in the Malvern Hills and on British Camp, one of my favourite places in England, such familiar ground really struck a chord with me. An enjoyable read, with talk of the ghost of Edward Elgar, earth mysteries, and the discovery of a neolithic stone circle in the area.
Makes me want to go back and read Alfred Watkins whose The Old Straight Track is referenced constantly in this novel, and which plays su I'm enjoying the Merrily Watkins Mysteries, but this one is by far my favourite so far. Makes me want to go back and read Alfred Watkins whose The Old Straight Track is referenced constantly in this novel, and which plays such an important role in the story. Mar 23, Reynardine rated it it was amazing Shelves: Another excellent addition to the Merrily Watkins series.
The book felt somewhat disjointed at first, but soon the plot pulled together. Again, I could not foresee who the culprit actually was. Phil Rickman is a master of misdirection. I thought the ending on the Jane storyline was a bit abrupt, but liked how it worked out. Jul 17, Beverley Carter rated it it was amazing. Yet another great yarn from Phil Rickman. I'm loving this series. It's lovely to meet up with all the characters again. Not only does Mr Rickman tell an enjoyable and clever mystery tale but he paints a picture of the enchanting Welsh borders so vividly I feel as if I'm as familiar with it as the locals!
I want a little bit more of the mystical and eerie when I read a Merrily Watkins book. Maybe a ghost or two, a restless spirit. This was missing from the book. However, still a strong book for me, good plot Always a good series to return to. In a series this good I think the odd duff offering is definitely allowed. I will still happily read the next in the series.
Feb 07, Victoria Grusing rated it really liked it. This was an interesting book in that I hadn't heard about the ley lines. Thanks for exposing me to more history of Britain. Sep 21, Liz Lovesrainbows rated it it was amazing.
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I love Phil Rickman! His books are my favorite series! Jul 10, Joy rated it liked it.
Of the Merrily Watkins books I've read this is by far the poorest. I had difficulty believing what happens and it all seemed a bit tired. Mar 19, rabbitprincess rated it it was ok Recommends it for: I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed with this book.
The Remains of an Altar by Phil Rickman
I think a series whose protagonist is a female exorcist should have SOME kind of actual creepy paranormal encounter. Perhaps I am too heavily influenced by Stephen King the few books of his I've read; here I am thinking specifically of an event toward the end of The Dark Half , or perhaps I was misled by the cover drawing, which is of a rather creepy, Whomping Willow-ish tree. In any case, the plot is this: Then somehow she is embroiled in a whole whack of complicated events: Rather a lot for one C of E priest to handle.
So you'd think with all this action, the story would be an exciting one. Well, not so much, at least not for me. I'm not fond of stories that take 64 pages to set up the main plot, or where characters are saddled with ridiculous names, such as "Merrily" and "Lol".
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In terms of the writing style, I also found the author's use of similes to be rather excessive, especially his food-related similes wherein he would liken landscape features to cakes on hot-plates, bacon, or butter. Perhaps he writes when he's hungry? Even with a sluggish pace and characters I didn't really care about, I still felt duty-bound to see it through to the end, which wasn't quite up to snuff either. A twist, but a pat twist, if you like. It was rather convoluted. Speaking of Syd Spicer, he was probably the best thing about this book, not least because I imagined him as resembling Stinker Pinker from the Jeeves and Wooster series with Fry and Laurie.
That idea gave me much amusement, actually my only amusement from this book, besides thinking of the tree on the cover as the Whomping Willow. I did like the idea of a female exorcist, but the writing did not live up to my expectations. Any future adventuring I do into this series will be through the library, but with all the other books I have to read, the possibility of picking up another book in this series is rather remote.
Feb 17, Jessica Andersen rated it really liked it Shelves: This is book 8 in the Merrily Watkins series. Merrily is a parish priest for the Church of England, and also serves as the area's deliverance read exorcist minister. This book was as good as any in the series so far. I love the characters and the location. Merrily is juggling her more mundane vicar duties with her deliverance duties. On top of that she is single mother to a teenage daughter, Jane, who is having some crises of her own.
The Remains of an Altar again delves into paganism and esta This is book 8 in the Merrily Watkins series. The Remains of an Altar again delves into paganism and established church, and if they really are so different. Daughter Jane again is pulled toward pagan tendencies when she discovers an obvious Ley line running through a meadow behind her mom's church.
Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books
Meanwhile, Merrily is called to deal with a possible ghost causing auto accidents in a small village. Merrily's boyfriend Lol, is trying to write songs for his sophomore comeback album and acting as go-between for Merrily and Jane, who have become passing ships. Merrily is thrown a hiccup when many locals believe their ghost is Edward Elger, famous composer who had lived in the area. Some locals aren't keen on getting rid of a famous ghost, auto accidents or not.
Many are more concerned with the old pub that has turned into more of a nightclub and attracting the "wrong" crowd.
Jane's hiccup is in the form of the village council who want to build executive homes in the ley line meadow. So, Jane is introduced to local politics. I really love this series, the characters and village and surrounding areas are interesting. The mysteries are well-written and the books often have a fantastic gothic vibe.
I highly recommend this series, and of course, The Remains of an Altar, book 8 in the series. Apr 12, Mark rated it really liked it Shelves: Merrily Watkins is Diocesan Deliverance Consultant--Anglican newspeak for exorcist--in the Herefordshire village of Ledwardine, close to the Welsh border, where traditions pagan as well as christian clash with the new age and with modernization in all its familiar and nauseating forms--commuting yuppies and scuppies, "executive country" subdivisions and chain stores, immigration gasp and importation of fun new commodities like crack, the destruction of small agriculture, and so on.
While Merri Merrily Watkins is Diocesan Deliverance Consultant--Anglican newspeak for exorcist--in the Herefordshire village of Ledwardine, close to the Welsh border, where traditions pagan as well as christian clash with the new age and with modernization in all its familiar and nauseating forms--commuting yuppies and scuppies, "executive country" subdivisions and chain stores, immigration gasp and importation of fun new commodities like crack, the destruction of small agriculture, and so on.
While Merrily is called upon to exorcise all manner of unwanted spirits, both supernatural and very human, this time a "ghost-road" yes, a haunted highway, where a spectral apparition--which may or may not be the ghost of Sir Edward Elgar, England's national composer and rather inclined to spiritual obsessions himself--causes road accidents , her teenage daughter Jane launches her own crusade to fight a corrupt developer who wants to expand the village onto what she believes to be a prehistoric sacred site.
Meanwhile Merrily's boyfriend Lol, a musician whose role model was the suicidal folkie Nick Drake and who after years as a depressed recluse has made something of a comeback, has his own ghosts to lay. If any or all of this sounds hokey, I want to say that Rickman is never a simply credulous narrator he's always witty and multi-voiced and he thoroughly researches his subject matter, whether it's ley lines or spiritualism or the music of Elgar or British political economy. The stories are thrilling and almost unsettling, and some readers have advised others that the books are not to be read at night.
The characters have been well developed and keep showing signs of more development as the series goes on. However, if you want to properly follow the characters featured in the series, you may want to start with the first book, as it explains the history of the town and why some characters are the way they are. You can also tell that the author has done extensive research on the procedure of Deliverance exorcism , as we see that every single possibility, including psychiatric, is eliminated, before exorcism is pursued as an option to solve the problem.
He states that most of the elements in his book are based on facts and studies rather than fiction. The Merrily Watkins series has been commissioned by ITV and is going to be made into a TV series, beginning with a three-episode pilot named after the second book. If you see one missing just send me an e-mail below. Scott Bolton is an indie author who after 14 years away, returned to his H. Scott Bolton has a lot of plans for new books this year and the first book in the H.
Fist series is free on the Kindle. Give it a Try. Merrily Watkins Books In Order. Mitch Rapp is back! Kyle Mills takes Rapp on another outing inspired by real life tensions. One doesn't have to be a believer in the paranormal to become engrossed as Merrily, parish priest and exorcism consultant, examines connections that some have made to the famous English composer, Elgar, who once lived in Wychehill and is venerated by many residents of the town.
As the investigation takes Merrily deeper and deeper into the lives of the villagers, her teenage daughter is fighting her own battle at home against a proposed housing development that will destroy what's considered ancient sacred space. Rickman provides at some length meticulous historical background on Elgar and vivid descriptions that create the backdrop for an unusual cast of characters and a dramatic, thrilling conclusion.