The village of Underhowle appeared to be on the brink of a new prosperity after half a century of decay...but now, instead, it seems destined for notoriety as the home of a psychotic serial killer of women. DI Francis Bliss of Hereford CID is convinced he knows where the bodies are buried, but diocesan Deliverance Consultant Merrily Watkins - called in to conduct a controversial funeral - wonders if Bliss isn't blinkered by personal ambition.
And are the Underhowle deaths really linked to the most sickening mass murders in British criminal history? The fifth Merrily Watkins mystery takes our endearingly fallible heroine from the wilder shores of millennial spirituality to the darkest hinterland of human depravity.
©2003 Phil Rickman (P)2006 Isis Publishing Ltd
I agree with the previous reviewer about the accents - key characters have had quite major accent changes from previous recordings, which is distracting. It's a good story and Emma Powell is generally a strong narrator, but on at least one occasion, Franny Bliss's accent veers wildly from Scouse to Birmingham and back again several times within one conversation! When you're losing focus on the story because the accents are becoming so irritating, think it's time to consider re-recording. Otherwise, a good and well read novel.
I have the impression the Phil Rickman poured a very great deal into this complex, thoughtful meditation on the Wests and on the nature of evil. His imaginative leaps into the mind of Fred West are disturbing. But it's more than just that, with Rickman pouring misery and fear into the lives of his familiar characters, the bereaved Gomer, the obsessed Bliss, the fear Lol, and the probably depressed Jane. And the end, both characters and (this) reader seem exhausted. It's a long book and the narrator, Emma Powell, seems less sure of her character's voices. Too many men blur, and everyone seems "rural."
Overly whiney Teenager
This book stands up well to the others in the series. In my opinion it is the best so far, (I am listening in order) and I hope this trend continues
Merrily and Jane's accent are getting thicker, and Moira and Frannies, were a bit all over the place.
This is a long audiobook so not really suitable for a single sitting
The whole "dark night of the soul" storyline starring Jane is a bit of an issue for me.I understand the kid has been through A LOT but seriously, stop whining!She has this over inflated sense of self importance that begins to grate very quickly.Merrily is quite ineffectual in her dealings with her, in fact everyone seems to pussyfoot around her. I got to the point where I really think Jane could do with being told to shut the f up!
Firstly, I really enjoyed the story and I do rate this narrator. However, having listened to the previous books, all but one read by the same narrator as this one, I'm confused by the changes in accents for three of the central characters. Previously, their accents were neutral, placeless accents but in this reading, they all have Herefordshire accents. Don't get me wrong, I like a Herefordshire accent as much as the next person, but the dialogue and the personalities just felt wrong this time round. Hoping it's a blip and they'll return to their origins in the next book.
This is my fourth audio book from Phil Rickman over the last 4 years. The best story so far, I just had to keep listening,. Strong well written and developed characters. Brilliant throughout.
All the other Merrily Watkins books because there is nothing else quite like this series
Yes. She has a great aptitude for this but I dislike the fact that she has slightly changed a couple of the voices - Jane and Lol seem to have local accents which were not there in the earlier books.
Jane's teenaged angst when Nev Pyle was killed - a real "is this all there is?" reaction.
"Enough Global Warming Scare Tactics!"
Yes, because his writing is amazing!
I would have liked not to be Preached to over Global Warming Issues that Have Not been Scientifically Proven As Factual.- Not "Peer Reviewed"
When the guy was electrocuted on a Pylon...Who's dumb enough to get near one of those?
"I can 't wait for the next one!"
As usual the characters and the land drive the books. I had fun reading it!
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