The Fabric of Sin by Phil Rickman
(Merrily Watkins Mysteries)

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The Master House, close to the Welsh border, is medieval and slowly falling into ruins. Now the house and its surrounding land have been sold to the Duchy of Cornwall. But the Duchy's plans to renovate the house and its outbuildings are frustrated when the specialist builder refuses to work there. 'This is a place,' he tells the Prince's land-steward, 'that doesn't want to be restored.'

Directed by the Bishop of Hereford to investigate, deliverance consultant Merrily Watkins discovers ancient connections between the house and the nearby church, built by the Knights Templar whose shadow still envelopes isolated Garway Hill and its scattered communities. Why did all the local inns have astrological names? What deep history lies behind the vicious feud between two local families? And what happened here to intimidate even the great Edwardian ghost-story writer M R James?

When Merrily learns that she - and even her daughter, Jane - are under surveillance by the security services, she's ready to quit. But a sudden death changes everything, and she returns to Garway to uncover fibres of fear and hatred stitched into history and now insidiously twisted in the corridors - and the cloisters - of power.

About Phil Rickman

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Phil Rickman lives on the Welsh border where he writes and presents the book programme Phil the Shelf on BBC Radio Wales. He is the hugely popular author of The Bones of Avalon and the Merrily Watkins Mysteries.
Published September 6, 2007 by Quercus. 543 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Fabric of Sin

Kirkus Reviews

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The Duchy of Cornwall has purchased the Garway Master House and environs for Prince Charles and plans to turn it into a major craft center snuggled on the border between England and Wales.

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Publishers Weekly

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British author Rickman once again cleverly blends supernatural elements with a conventional whodunit plot in his ninth Merrily Watkins novel (after 2007's The Remains of an Altar).

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Reviewing the Evidence

The more she digs, the more she finds links to the sinister Knights Templar and to modern-day Masons (don't worry, it's not a DaVinci Code rip-off – Rickman can write the socks off Dan Brown!) Merrily's daughter Jane and musician Lol are key characters in the book.

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