The Heresy of Dr Dee – review

The Heresy of Dr Dee – Phil Rickman
A supernatural thriller set in the Court of Elizabeth 1st.  This unusual book draws on two famous characters from Elizabethan England; the renowned Dr Dee, famous magician, astrologer and academic and Robert Dudley, Elizabeth’s great love.  In this book the two men are friends and set off to Wales to find a rare scrying stone. However, they get caught up in local tensions as a murderer is brought to trial who has channelled the spirit of a long dead Welsh rebel.
Extra spice is added by a plot to kill Dudley to prevent him marrying the Queen. Rickman always writes with a great sense of atmosphere and in this book ancient and modern evils collide in a brutal conclusion.
So I managed to finish this book but I was disappointed. Rickman used to write really excellent supernatural thrillers, try Crybbe for a good example, but this was just daft.  Far too many coincidences were relied on to drive the plot forward and too many deus ex machinas were wheeled out to save the day. Sorry.

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