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The Cold Calling

Will Kingdom

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Corgi Books

Published : 1998

Copyright : Will Kingdom 1998

ISBN-10 : PB 0-552-14584-X
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-552-14584-8

Publisher's Write-Up

Life isn't easy for detective inspector bobby maiden. Death is even harder.

When Maiden is revived in hospital after dying in a hit and run incident, his memories are not the familiar ones of bright lights and angelic music, only of a cold, harsh place he has no wish to revisit… ever.

But his experience means that Bobby Maiden may be the only person who can reach The Green Man, a serial murderer the police don't even know exists... a predator who returns to stone circles, burial mounds and ancient churches in the belief that he is defending Britain's sacred heritage.

Meanwhile, New Age journalist Grayle Underhill arrives from New York to search for her sister who's become obsessed with the arcane mysteries of the Stone Age.

The bloody trail leads to a remote village on the Welsh Border... and to people who know there are more crimes in heaven and earth...

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (010802) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
This has quite an interesting take on the gory serial murderer story. The Green Man is part of the old history of England, and can still be seen in various places that have no obvious link to Pagan beliefs. Detective Inspector Bobby Maiden is an uncorrupted policeman, whose boss is as bent as a nine bob note. Unfortunately his boss looks like he is due for a promotion and this would place Bobby in a very unenviable position.

One night Bobby gets very drunk and is injured by a hit and run driver. It results in him dying for a while in the Accident and Emergency department of the local hospital, only to be brought back by Sister Anderson whose healing hands channel energy from an ancient holy site on the Welsh border. Bobby, though, feels not the purifying energy that Sister Anderson experienced when her life was changed but a dark malevolent cold. In comparison to what other people have felt by near death experiences, he is determined not to die again at any point soon.

There are some really strange English eccentrics in this book, from the cross dressing shaman to the man who runs a slim magazine about the weird and wonderful - The Phenomenologist. Marcus Bacton lives near Black Knoll, and his housekeeper is mainly responsible for healing Sister Anderson. He loves this area and believes in the power of the old sites, but his rivalry with a professor who he believes is just a modern, fame seeking charlatan has caused him to be ridiculed and now has caused the Black Knoll to be fenced off and declared out of bounds.

The Green Man we see as a hunter, who finds his victims with sometimes the slimmest of portents, the hunt saboteur he kills for not agreeing with the need to hunt, and the bank manager he kills because he is a birdwatcher - slim reasons, but then as an insane killer who believes in his links with the land and the sense of history and power that he gets from legend.

Bobby, running from his boss, finds himself staying with Marcus Bacton, recuperating from his accident in a place where no one would think to look. He becomes even more involved when the Green Man kills a woman, with whom he is starting a tenuous relationship, in their hotel room. This is very hard for Bobby to bear, as after his accident he feels quite disembodied sometimes and he is not totally sure whether he could have done such a thing.

This is somehow a very English thriller; the rich lore of the countryside makes for an interesting and gripping story. The story is really good, but it lacks certain tightness as the beginning of the story - you are not quite sure what is going on, and it can drag a little. Once it gets the threads unravelling, though, it is really well worth the wait.

A point that has made this book really quite memorable, though, is the way that the modern church has adopted many of our pagan myths, and the pagan holy sites that were usurped by the church make for interesting thoughts. I think that I would like to know more about this, just for curiosity sake, you know…
Chrissi (1st August 2002)

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