A modern witch-hunt splits a remote community - in a further challenge for exorcist Rev.Merrily Watkins. A disused church near a Welsh border hamlet has already been sold off by the Church when it's discovered that the new owners are 'pagans' who intend to use the building for their own rituals. The local rector, an extreme evangelical, is appailed and blames these inoffensive middle-class witches for infesting the whole community with evil...even calling in the diocesan exorcist, Rev.Merrily Watkins. An atmosphere of stifling menace develops - with the persecution of innocent people, false accusations, and the formation of a Christian vigilante group. As this cauldron of conflict threatens to boil over into serious violence, Merrily uses all the diplomacy she can muster. But, as the confrontation moves towards its climax at Candlemass, she is unaware of a personal threat against her from a deranged and violent man.
Phil Rickman was born in Lancashire. He has won awards for his TV and radio journalism, and his highly acclaimed earlier novels Candlenight, Crybbe, The Man in the Moss, December and The Chalice are also available from Pan Books in paperback. The Wine of Angels introduced the Revd Merrily Watkins, whose frightening baptism as a diocesan exorcist was charted in Midwinter of the Spirit, followed by A Crown of Lights, his previous novel. He is married and lives on the Welsh border.