- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 16 hours and 48 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Isis Publishing
- Audible.com Release Date: September 14, 2012
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009AQNRAK
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Secrets of Pain: A Merrily Watkins Mystery, Book 11 Audible – Unabridged
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Meanwhile, a wealthy farmer is hacked to death in his own farmyard, and his demise sets off the local anti-immigration yobbos. Merrily's detective-friend, Frannie Bliss works this murder while his estranged wife makes his personal life as miserable as she possibly can. Soon a couple more murders are added to his caseload, this time the beating deaths of two Romanian immigrant sisters.
Oddly enough, the police procedural parts of "The Secrets of Pain" are not nearly as compelling as the parts directly involving Merrily and Jane. The author does attempt to pull all threads of his complicated plot together at book's end, but this mystery lacked the intense focus of earlier novels in this series, such as "The Fabric of Sin" (the eighth novel in the series).
Gomer Parry, the manic digger-for-hire who is one of my favorite characters in the Merrily mysteries, has a small but important role to play just when events are at their nadir, and it appears as though the pseudo-SAS bullies are going to complete their takeover of the haunted Welsh borderland that is the setting for this series.
The Merrily books are educational as well as a riveting mixture of mystery and the supernatural, and this time the reader will feast on the rather unsettling combination of Roman archeology and Julian of Norwich, a medieval English mystic (a woman, in spite of her name).
Our old friends are back: Jane is using her newly-won adulthood and sex appeal to get to the heart of the spoiling of Ledwardine. Lol, at work on more songs with Danny the rock and roll farmer, does some crucial investigating of his own. Gomer gets a chance for more JCB heroics, and Frannie's a hero in his own right. Merrily is becoming increasingly adept at helping the police, including Annie the ice queen, zero in on the bad guys and what they are up to. She is expanding her religious view to include English mysticism and feminist theology. And Phil Rickman's humor, irony and suspenseful writing littered with vivid metaphors is stronger than ever.
And be sure to get Lol Robinson's 2 cds, available via the Phil Rickman website; "The Simple Trackway Man" and other songs with lyrics appearing in this and previous books are beautifully performed by Lol and Hazey Jane II! Perfect atmospheric listening while rereading the series and getting ready for the next Merrily book.
(I ordered mine from Amazon UK so I wouldn't have to wait to read it.)
The characters are so familiar by now, it's like catching up with old friends. The dialogue is snappy and often witty in an understated way and the action is well paced and keeps you turning those pages well into the night. Phil Rickman weaves an atmosphere that is totally enthralling.
As always this is a book for the thinking reader. The supernatural element is subtle, always a smudgy line between what is paranormal and what is psychological. Merrily is no clerical superhero but a single mum who doubts and second guesses herself, juggles her relationship with her volatile teenage daughter Jane and tries to find her own personal happiness.
Although each of the Merrily books stand alone and do not have to be read in sequence, this one is probably not a good starting point for anyone who is not familiar with the series. There are quite a few references back to events in previous books. Having said that - I cannot recommend the whole series highly enough. Buy this boook, but beware, you won't be able to put it down.
In this one we learn more about the SAS, military heroes who endure the most rigorous training to become the best in the world and sometimes make deep sacrifices in their personal lives. We also follow Frannie Bliss as he investigates a seemingly racially motivated murder of two immigrant women. Jane, Merrily's daughter, is occupied with discovering the existence of an exceptionally cruel "sport" occurring in Ledwardine. While all this is going on Merrily looks into the death of a former colleague which leads to a strange, militaristic cult created by the followers of Mithras.
As usual, Rickman provides us with a fascinating history lesson as well as trenchant observations about the changes occurring in England's small towns.
When you finish this book, you will come away feeling that you have had an experience that is seldom found in the average mystery novel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed The Secrets of Pain. Mr. Rickman always makes me feel that I am there in Herefordshire. His careful research of the history gives life to the story. Read morePublished 23 days ago by SeaJade
Loved this book as I have enjoyed all the Merrily Watkins books of Phil Rickman.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK YET BUT I LOVE ALL THE OTHER BOOKS BY PHIL RICKMAN THAT I HAVE READ.Published 9 months ago by STACEY HYLER
I am happy with my book. I have read most of Phil Rickman's books and plan to read this one also in the near future.Published on July 21, 2014 by Diana Harrell
I loved this book, but I love everything Phil Rickman writes - especially his Merrilee Watkins series. Read morePublished on March 10, 2014 by Con Duffie
This is not my favorite book in the series, but it is very good nonetheless. Phil Rickman is really an exceptional writer in that he can keep a long running series going well, and... Read morePublished on December 29, 2013 by Desert Mambo