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The Cure of Souls

Written by: Phil Rickman
Narrated by: Emma Powell
Series: Merrily Watkins
Length: 17 hrs and 36 mins

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Publisher's Summary

In Herefordshire's hop-growing country, a converted kiln is the scene of a savage murder. When the local vicar refuses to help its new owners cope with the aftermath, Merrily Watkins is sent in by the Bishop of Hereford to defuse the situation.

Merrily, however, is already contending with a woman's claim that her daughter is possessed by evil. In both cases Merrily remains unconvinced, but nothing is ever quite what it seems.

As she is drawn into a tangle of trickery, deceit, corruption and sexual menace, her hastily conducted exorcism produces unhappy results. With her career now on the line, she tries to uncover the secrets of Knight's Frome - a village concealing a twisted past as...

©2001 Phil Rickman (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Rickman writes mysteries in the classic sense, cleverly combining the supernatural and criminal elements to illuminate the darkest corners of our imaginations." (John Connolly)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. Watson
  • 13-04-13

More Hops Than a One Legged Firewalker........

The Cure of Souls was first time I ever picked up a Phil Rickman with a muted feeling of half hearted enthusiasm. The problem you see was Hops - those little flowery things used in the beer brewing process. No matter which way I turned it over in my head I couldn't envision how `hop picking' would ever lend itself to the sort of edge-of-your-seat thriller chillers that Rickman specialises in. As it turned out my fears were groundless as the Cure of Souls was a fantastic read and if Rickman ever decides to write about `Porcelain Thimble Collecting' or `Tapeworm Charming' then I'll be more than happy to bow to his better judgment.



This time round Lol Robinson - who every guitar strumming bloke of a certain age must surely identify with - returns after a strategic absence from `A Crown of Lights' (edged out most likely by Robin the fluffy Wiccan) to play a lead role in the story arc and he teams up with a couple of old lags from `December' - Prof Leven and Simon St John to record his first album since Hazey Jane broke up. Merrily meanwhile is called upon to exorcise a haunted Hop Kiln and suddenly we're off and running on the Rickman Express. The storyboard is studded with all manner of good things; possessed schoolgirls, vengeful gypsies, bent coppers, and to top it all a very naked Annie Howe.



Having written my thoughts on more than a few Phil Rickman novels my hyperbole tank is pretty running low so let's leave it at this - the guy is a superb writer - one of a kind. In fact I intend to commission a statue of him, albeit rather small and made from plasticine but all are welcome to come and pay their respects. Just watch out for those pesky hop bines, they get everywhere.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-11-15

Gypsies, Hops and Spooks

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book and I would also recommend reading December as characters from that book emerge in this one. Which ties in nicely.

What other book might you compare The Cure of Souls to, and why?

All the Merrily books are brilliant.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The kiln and not quite an exorcism

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Gypsies, Hops and Spooks

Any additional comments?

I think to really enjoy this book you have to read December which ties in characters from Phil Rickmans other books. I have read all of the Merrily Watkins series and the other books he has wrote. Characters from Crybbe, Man in the Moss, December etc all tie in with the Merrily books and are a very good read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Loki
  • 05-04-09

Very enjoyable

A good match of character and narrator, likeable heroes, convincing villains and a nicely puzzling plot.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Smee
  • 27-06-18

Love Phil Rickman!

If you haven't tried the Merrily Watkins series you are missing out on a great story telling experience. Phil's writing is so descriptive, you feel you are in the story with them.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TriciaN
  • 17-01-18

Fails to stop at the end of chapters!

What would have made The Cure of Souls better?

A different reader would be great. Emma Powell has a toneless voice as if she's bored stiff by the book.

What did you like best about this story?

Phil Rickman's characters and writing.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Emma Powell?

Anyone, just anyone.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Cure of Souls?

None

Any additional comments?

I like to get the app to stop at the end of a chapter if I'm about to go to sleep. Instead, this book stops randomly at the end of a paragraph, or fails to stop at the end of a chapter and carrying on to the next. It's not the app that's faulty because it works perfectly with other books.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jayne Baker
  • 15-01-17

Another great tale .

I am relatively new to the Merrily Watkins books and I have to say I can't get enough of them. The central characters are well rounded and you really root for Merrily, as she gets herself into some real pickles. The narrator is well chosen for these books and gives a good reading. This book is set around the hop farming community and the decline of traditional farming. Merrily gets sucked into a situation that she may find it difficult to get out of this time. Friends really come to the rescue and Lol - he da man.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-02-15

Almost no breathiness!!<br />

The narrator was much better to listen to. See my critique of the "Crown of Lights". Very little breathiness, low pitched voice close to the mike. Which made the narration much more pleasant to listen to.
A good thriller that keeps you hooked to the earphones. I recommend it highly.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ken Ellison
  • 20-06-09

The Cure of Souls

I am three-quarters of the way through this reading and am struggling to finish it. I do not enjoy unneccessary wordiness of it nor its adolescent script. I do not think many younger people who would find nothing untoward in this style of writing would have the patience to wade through it. The pace of the narration is irritatingly slow at times. I would avoid a recording using this narrator in the future. Altogether disappointing.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bonita N. Jones
  • 07-11-16

Another Cracker of a story

Loved this latest installment of Merrily's adventures into the unknown. Kept me guessing all the way.