No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Saturday, November 11, 2017

2017/91: The Cold Calling -- Phil Rickman

... by daylight, the whole idea of a cross-dressing actor-ventriloquist who believed he was into a mystical tradition with a direct line to the megalith-builders seemed a whole lot less convincing than it had last night. [p. 239]
DI Bobby Maiden dies in a hit-and-run -- but is revived. He remembers the terror of being dead, and his experiences somehow link him to the Green Man, a serial killer who murders his victims (apparently randomly chosen) at sacred sites. Is the Green Man really protecting Britain's sacred heritage? Did Bobby Maiden really encounter a primal force in the time when he lay dead? Can New Age journalist Grayle Underhill (I blame the parents), lately arrived from New York, unravel the mystery of her sister's disappearance? And will shaman and detective Cindy Mars-Lewis be able to discover the murderer's identity before he strikes again?

This was an enjoyable read. Rickman writes about paganism and New Agers without mockery or patronisation (though some of the characters are a bit rude about others). There is clearly something supernatural going on, though it may not be quite as supernatural as certain individuals believe it to be. Interesting characters, alternating viewpoints, and a whodunnit that -- while not wholly unpredictable -- did keep me guessing for quite a while.

I had issues with the Kindle edition, though: throughout the book, random letters were replaced by full stops mid-sentence. For instance, "letting him exp. rience the p. rverse ecstasy of unsp. akable, self-righteous cruelty" [p. 430].

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