Phil Rickman, Author . Macmillan U.K. $28 (191p) ISBN 978-0-333-90623-1

Merrily Watkins, single mom and Anglican priest, faces more than one occult threat in her third chilling outing, set in northeast Herefordshire near the Welsh border, from British author Rickman (Midwinter of the Spirit; A Crown of Lights). In her role as the appointed diocesan Deliverance Minister, Merrily is looking into a family's claims that "evil" has possessed their daughter when the Bishop of Hereford asks her to intervene in a dispute over whether or not a converted hopkiln is haunted. Once used to dry the hops in beer making, the kiln was also the scene of a terrible murder. Sensible, down-to-earth Merrily, as she investigates each case, isn't totally convinced that the unnatural phenomena are genuine. However, after her attempted exorcism of the hopkiln fails, another brutal murder occurs, the possessed daughter tries to commit suicide and she begins to question her own judgment. In a search for the truth, Merrily, her daughter and her good friend, Lol Robinson, find intrigue, lies, cover-ups, danger and the unexplainable. While the unraveling of the two stories takes time, the pace is fast and plot twists await the reader around every corner right up until the very end. The rural English setting, where the past is still part of the present, and a cast of quirky yet believable characters add to the realism that makes this a most provocative read. Even skeptics of the paranormal will shudder with fear. (June 1)

Reviewed on: 05/13/2002
Release date: 04/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 496 pages - 978-0-330-48756-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 13 pages - 978-0-7531-3374-3
Compact Disc - 15 pages - 978-0-7531-3375-0
MP3 CD - 2 pages - 978-1-4450-3781-3
Open Ebook - 295 pages - 978-0-85789-019-1
Paperback - 546 pages - 978-0-85789-012-2
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