Crime fiction now IN THE MOORS is the first in the SHAMAN MYSTERY SERIES featuring the shaman SABBIE DAY; this is the first of the series and is out now,published by Midnight Ink. The follow-up is due out in the autumn of 2014.
The idea for In the Moors , my first crime fiction novel. came to me one day, in the guise of Sabbbie Dare. She came to me fully formed and said; “I'm a young therapist, a shaman, and sometimes I do get very strange people walking into my therapy room. Honestly, I could write a book about some of them...”
Sabbie Dare walks between worlds...trying to help her shamanic clients while living a self-sufficient life in the sleepy town of Bridgwater, England. She’s mourning the loss of her hens to a fox when a detective called Reynard walks into her life. Rey likes to play his hunches and expects Sabbie to help him nail her client, Cliff Houghton, who has become the prime suspect for a horrific child killing after police find him lurking in the moors where the body was found. Cliff’s shamanic otherworld reveals dreadful secrets to Sabbie, shedding light on a spate of crimes that terrorized the area twenty years before. When a second child goes missing, Sabbie tries to piece together all the fragments she’s gained from her shamanic journeys. Although she’s sure of Cliff’s innocence, trying to prove it, and find the missing child, becomes a threat to her own survival. Always an optimist, Sabbie can’t help remaining cheerful and determined as she hurtles towards a dark and certain place of death…
In the Moors is set around the Somerset Levels and in Bridgwater, and the story opens when a body is found buried in the moors. Detective Sergeant Reynard Buckley is sure that Sabbie Dare’s new client, Cliff Houghton—a wounded, broken man—has something to do with the chilling crime, but Sabbie believes Cliff is being set up (although she really fancies Rey Buckley). Continuing the therapy she'd begun with Cliff, Sabbie uncovers repressed memories that hark back to a long forgotten string of murders. After another boy is abducted, only Sabbie can prove Cliff's innocence . . . and find the real culprit before any more lives are shattered.
I was delighted that IN THE MOORS got good reviews, both in magazines like Kirkus Review and on the internet. The Library Journal gave it a starred review.
I love the puzzle-solving element to writing crime fiction. I stay awake at night, trying to sort out all the permutations of each novel. I’m not sure I value that as much as the actual writing, though...the creating of strong characters, for instance, or the creation of a lyrical ‘voice’ for the narrative, but perhaps I should.
At around that time, I’d been on a walk with my son on the Somerset Levels. As we hiked along, the day became gloomy and we were almost lost because each field on the levels is surrounded by water; rivers,dykes, rhynes, ditches and canals. We came upon the areas where they extract peat industrially; huge chunks like empty back swimming pools are cut from the earth and they slowly fill with water becoming reed beds and marshes. I thought that would be a great place to bury a body.
Sabbie gains the strength to get through life with her shamanism and her pagan beliefs, but still struggles with the memories of her difficult start in life. She has an open heart, and is adept at inviting trouble into her life - which bodes well for the second book in the series!
In the Moors was released in the US in 2013 and the new will be out in the UK in October. but you can reserve your copy now on Amazon.
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