Midwinter of the Spirit
A crime drama with a supernatural twist.
Merrily Watkins isn’t your average country vicar. Her newly acquired training has put her on the dark side of the pulpit. She’s become one of the few women priests working as an exorcist - a job increasingly mistrusted by the modern Church and rarely talked about, even though it operates in virtually every diocese in the UK.
Merrily has been through the mill emotionally of late, losing her unfaithful husband Sean in a car crash and seeking refuge in a job despised by her 16 year-old daughter, Jane, whose rejection of her mother's beliefs leads her into the path of danger. When a man is found murdered in the most horrific circumstances imaginable, Merrily becomes convinced that Satanists are operating in the city. In the early hours of the next morning she’s called to Hereford General Hospital to perform an exorcism.
The atmosphere is palpably toxic, as nurses treating a chronically ill man known for cruelty to animals and his abuse of women believe the ward has become polluted by his vileness. “They believe when he dies, that evil won’t die with him,” Sister Cullen tells Merrily before she begins to pray for his soul. As the life force in the shrivelled body begins to ebb away, Merrily feels the force of his depravity. Shaking and feeling violated by her experience, Merrily begins to wonder if the two deaths are connected. Local police team – DCI Annie Howe and DS Franny Bliss – investigating the murder of the crucified man seek Merrily’s expertise. Merrily assists the police as their enquiries take them into a very dark and dangerous world.
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