The Remains of An Altar, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


NOW A MAJOR ITV DRAMAMerrily Watkins, parish priest, single mum and Deliverance Consultant to the Diocese of Hereford, heads for the Malvern Hills to investigate an alleged paranormal dimension to a spate of road accidents in the sleepy village of Wychehill.

Merrily is called in when two people are killed in a head-on crash that is also linked to the revamped local pub which, it seems, has injected the valley with a shattering, strobing surge of inner-city nightlife... and drugs. When a dealer is found savagely murdered below the great earthen hillfort of Herefordshire Beacon, police ask: is it a ritual killing, a gangland disposal or a cry of outrage?

As Merrily and the police follow separate paths towards the truth, Merrily's teenage daughter, Jane, faces the consequences of her own obsession with a possibly prehistoric site in their home village of Ledwardine.

Until, on a night of frenzied violence, in a place at the centre of an ancient, universal mystery, the final, shocking connections are made.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9781847240910

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Another sublime offering. Jane is growing up and beginning to worry about the future, especially as her boyfried is about to go off to university - although 'Irene' could have been around a bit more. Merrily is also developing, her conversation with Jane's headmaster is a classic. The story is interesting as well, the human capacity for evil is astounding.

Review by

These Merrily Watkins novels are extremely good, and Rickman's writing is superb. No one out there writes in this particular genre which is a mix of the occult, religion, and contemporary crime. This book is set in and around the Malvern Hills which are an extremely mystical range of hills along the Welsh/English border. The Village of Whychehill has some very well-kept secrets that Merrily stumbles upon when she goes to investigate a series of road accidents on a certain piece of road. There's a lot of history here with historical figures like Albert Watkins and Elgar the composer figuring large in the unravelling of the mystery. I love the way Rickman puts his readers right in the middle of all Merrily's unearthly messes! This is by far my most favourite series that I am reading right now, and I cannot recommend them enough to anyone who loves to read!

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