The Fabric of Sin (Merrily Watkins Mysteries)
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Called in secretly to investigate an allegedly haunted house with royal connections, Merrily Watkins, deliverance consultant for the Diocese of Hereford, is exposed to a real and tangible evil. A hidden valley on the border of England and Wales preserves a longtime feud between two border families as well as an ancient Templar church with a secret that may be linked to a famous ghost story. On her own and under pressure with the nights drawing in, the hesitant Merrily has never been less sure of her ground. Meanwhile, Merrily’s closest friend, songwriter Lol Robinson, is drawn into the history of his biggest musical influence, the tragic Nick Drake, and finds himself troubled by Drake’s eerie autumnal song "The Time of No Reply."
Like they’d been contaminated? That doesn’t sound convincing, does it?’ ‘Well, you can see that it might be, from her point of view. But no need for urgency, was there?’ Merrily looked back towards the Volvo. ‘Look,’ Jane said, ‘if I had to take a guess …’ ‘Go on.’ ‘The Master House. I’d told her … I told her what happened to you. In the inglenook?’ ‘When?’ ‘Before we left. I’m sorry, I thought you’d probably told her yourself.’ ‘And how did she react?’ ‘She was interested in the
More than hers did, anyway. The light falling into the inglenook had been an indication of something being knocked through, perhaps the wrong stones being taken out. She said, ‘Why would they … I mean, what did they expect to find?’ What had Teddy expected to find? Or was he going to put something in? Brick it up again. ‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘I’ve not been able to see. If you were to hold the lamp for me, perhaps we might …’ ‘Well, maybe not now, Teddy, if you don’t mind. Best clothes?’
knew him personally?’ ‘I don’t know. I have no reason to think he did. I mean, he may have … I really don’t know, Merrily, it just brought it back to me, with all this …’ ‘Could I have a look at the cuttings?’ ‘I’ve brought them up. You can take them with you when you leave.’ That night, Merrily called Huw Owen, who took it all unexpectedly seriously. Listen, he said, you must never trust the buggers. Never. Any of them. Not at this level. Covering the phone, Merrily reached out a foot and
the other side into the old orchard which had once enclosed the village like a nest around eggs. The secret ways of Ledwardine. Merrily, in her bathrobe, watching from the landing window as Lol emerged from the alley by the new bistro, onto the square. Vanishing into Jim Prosser’s shop – called Eight Till Late but usually open by seven – and coming out with a morning paper. There was no real need for this game any more; everybody must know by now. Yet she had the feeling that it was expected,
who happens to have a heart attack, whatever. I need to find out what’s there.’ ‘Merrily, there’s masses there. It’s always going to be there. Garway’s layered with it, that whole area. Tantalizing little mysteries. Codes nobody’s going to crack and symbols and forgotten secrets. And occasionally summat flares. So you tamp it down and you walk away and, with any luck, it won’t flare again in your lifetime.’ ‘You’re saying it’s too big to deal with?’ ‘Too big, too deep. It’s Knights bloody