THE LAMP OF THE WICKED

Phil Rickman, Author . Macmillan U.K. $19.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-333-90805-1

A serial killer stalks a small English town in British author Rickman's fourth Merrily Watkins mystery, a darker, more disturbing tale than last year's The Cure of Souls. The Anglican priest and single mom agrees to help a parishioner, Gomer Parry, after fire destroys Gomer's business and kills his nephew. When Merrily's efforts lead to the discovery of a murdered woman's body, the police start to hunt the unscenic Herefordshire village of Underhowle, with its high-voltage power lines, for more victims. A suspect's arrest sets off a long and complex investigation involving Merrily, her musician boyfriend, Lol Robinson, and her adolescent daughter, Jane. Rickman deftly weaves in real-life serial killers Fred and Rose West, while exploring the nature of evil and the deleterious effects of radiation, electricity overload and EH (electro-hypersensitivity). Besides trying to comfort the victims' loved ones, Merrily has to deal with alleged angelic visitations, the need to keep her relationship with Lol quiet and Jane's crisis of faith. Fans of cozier parish mysteries may not find the novel to their taste, both those interested in the West case and the psychology of serial killers will be well rewarded. (Aug. 1)

Reviewed on: 06/09/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7531-3593-8
Paperback - 563 pages - 978-0-330-49032-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7531-2625-7
Open Ebook - 332 pages - 978-0-85789-020-7
Paperback - 612 pages - 978-0-85789-013-9
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