To Dream of the Dead : A Merrily Watkins Mystery Paperback
by Phil Rickman
December, and the river is rising. The village of Ledwardine has never been flooded in living memory.
Within days it will be an island. There's no electricity. The church is serving as a temporary mortuary for two people who drowned.
Only one man feels safer. An aggressively-atheist author has been moved, for his own safety, Rushdie-style, into a secluded house just outside the village.
Fundamentalist Christians have hated him for years. Now he's offended the Muslims. Bad move. Meanwhile, archaeologists, assisted by Merrily's teenage daughter, Jane, are at work in Coleman's Meadow, unearthing an ancient row of standing stones which some people would rather stay buried.
The atheist's temporary home is close to the site. And his young wife is becoming conspicuously agitated.
Is it the fear of discovery -- or the kind of fear that she, of all people, could never disclose?
One thing is clear: the last person who's going to be welcome in that house is an exorcist. With the flood water washing up Church Lane towards the vicarage and the shop running out of cigarettes it looks like a cold and complex Christmas for Merrily Watkins in an ancient community forced to untangle its own history against the swirling uncertainty of the future.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 528 pages
- Publisher: Quercus Publishing
- Publication Date: 04/06/2009
- Category: Crime & mystery
- ISBN: 9781847247926
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Review by theforestofbooks
I've been reading this series since its inception (this is book #10) and slowly each book has just got better and better. Forty pages from the end, I got frustrated with myself for not being able to read faster so desperate was I to know how it concluded. The elements that makes up this series seem to improbable: a female priest who is also an exorcist who struggles to cope with her life, her parishioners, the more esoteric elements of her job and her pagan teenage daughter. But it’s also the series supporting characters which make this a joy to read. Personally this is the best ongoing series on the bookshelves. Rickman is a writer who isnt afraid to let the plot off its leash and yet he pulls everything back together in an effortless finale. A master storyteller. I cannot recommend this series of books highly enough. And with a year to wait for book #11 it’s time I started back at the beginning.