"STARED REVIEW;Milton, Nina. In the Moors: A Shaman Mystery. Midnight Ink. Sept. 2013. 408p. ISBN 9780738738369. pap. $14.99. M
The region of Southwest England featured in Milton’s suspenseful and paranormal-infused debut was terrorized years ago by a child abductor and murderer who was never caught. Now the pattern is beginning anew, and the police jail Cliff Houghton, a local odd duck who has been acting suspiciously. Cliff is a client of Sabrina Dare, a professional shaman. Sabbie works with Cliff until he is able to bring up his terrifying suppressed past; it seems that Cliff was kidnapped as a child himself, but he managed to escape his captors. Using his images to guide her dreams, Sabbie finds evidence that can exonerate Cliff, but her discovery also puts her straight in the abductor’s line of sight. It doesn’t help that her ex-lover is causing chaos at the same time. Thankfully one detective, DS Reynard Buckley, takes Sabbie’s dreams seriously. VERDICT Sabbie Dare is the most compelling protagonist I’ve met this year, and Milton’s tale is riveting. Perhaps readers will figure things out before Sabbie does, but the visceral suspense Milton creates is commendable, not to mention terrifying. I like pairing her work with Elly Griffiths’s atmospheric English mysteries.