Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Man In The Moss - Phil Rickman

The village of Bridelow has always been an isolated, wind swept place; a place where the old beliefs and the newer Christian beliefs have been woven together. The only way to get to Bridelow is across a primeval peat bog known as 'The Moss'.

When an ancient body is discovered in the peat and taken away to be investigated by the archaeologists, perfectly preserved after thousands of years, the villagers know what they have to do to preserve the balance between light and dark in their town. They must get the body back, and put it back where it belongs. The body in the peatbog had been an ancient sacrifice, and the sacrificial victim had died the triple death.

Bridelow is also a village that draws back the people who left; and musician Matt Castle buys the village pub, after the local independent brewery is sold. Matt who plays the Pennine Pipes to appease the Moss.

Drawn into this circle of gathering darkness are folk singer Moira Cairns, American film Director Mungo Macbeth and the fundamentalist vicar Joel Beard. But one of Bridelow's own is using the energy in the town for his own ends. Having once been banished, he has now found a way to return and work his black magic.

But Bridelow has guardians; a group of women who have retained the old knowledge and pass it down from generation to generation. As people are killed and disaster threatens to destroy the village, can the remnants of the Mother's Union do enough to save Bridelow and it's inhabitants?

Set in the dark, wet weeks around Halloween - ancient Samhain - this is one to read with a big bowl of hot chilli, a baked potato and a pint of real ale!

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