So, if you read my blog post here, you’d realise that I’ve read pretty much every book written by Phil Rickman, but especially his Merrily Watkins series, I’ve read them all!
Friends of the Dusk is Phil’s recent release and book four in the Merrily Watkins series, following the stories of Merrily Watkins, Herefords first female priest and exorcist. Phil is currently writing his next book in the series, but that’s another story.
Merrily, as I’ve mentioned above, is first and foremost a parish priest for the small village of Ledwardine, and as I’ve been pointed out, this name seems to come from Ledbury and Lugwardine (correct me if I’m wrong!), but the whole series is based in Hereford, Herefordshire and some parts of Wales. Hereford is a city close to my heart, as the place where my grandparents live and a city which I visit quite regularly, I was shocked to pick up the first book and realise that Hereford was mentioned!
Anyways, back to Friends of the Dusk.
This book see’s Merrily and her daughter, Jane, deal with teenagers ‘obsessions’ with the unread and a creepy, run-down house. This book covers a side of the supernatural, unseen by many and from a religious (as such) point of view.
What I love about these series is that, it’s not just a book about an exorcist. It’s about a female exorcist, and the involvement of the police, due to crimes and mysteries, taking place at the same time and thus, crossover with Merrily’s work.
This book also brings a new Bishop and an uncertain future for Merrily, but that puzzle will be solved in the next book or so, as readers are left on a somewhat cliff-hanger.
I love how Phil can take something such as, a teenagers sexuality, and yet touch on it only slightly for readers minds to click. He doesn’t give us the full information, doesn’t really spell it out for us, but he gives us just enough information to come to our own conclusions. Something which is done throughout this book, and the series.
If you haven’t picked up any of Phil Rickman’s books, I urge you to, especially his Merrily Watkins series. A big thumbs up for the Feminist’s, with a strong female lead in a controversial job. Friends of the Dusk ticks all the boxes for a perfect autumnal read.