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Book Review: ‘In the Moors’ by Nina Milton

Breaking with my (slightly warped) tradition of reviewing a book about a fortnight after I’ve finished reading it – which means I’ve lost the ‘fizz’ of the journey – I am delighted to bring you a review fresh from the ending.

I bought Nina Milton‘s book ‘In The Moors‘ nearly 2 years ago when I signed up to the BA(Hons) Creative Writing degree with the Open College of the Arts and discovered that she might be one of the tutors I was assigned (she wasn’t, so ‘In The Moors’ went on the neverending TBR Pile).

However  I’ve just started the Level 2 Course (‘Writing Short Fiction’),  and am pleased  that Nina has now become my tutor, so I’ve finally got round to reading this book which is the first of 3 Sabbie Dare (she’s a Shaman) Mysteries.

Never having had dealings with a Shaman in my life, in my head they’ve always been a kind of witchy-pagan-flowing maxi dress-with-beads-and-flowered headdress-wearing hippy-type person who goes around humming and hugging trees and chatting to woodland creatures.  Because it’s a nice thing to do and wouldn’t we all do it if we could get away with it?

So I was more than a little happy to discover that our heroine, Sabbie Dare, is – although a little like my fluffy idea – a proper down-to-earth completely accessible human being with worries and hang ups and urges and no aversion to profanities and my goodness I warmed to her. Immediately.

The blurb says this:

“Shamanic Counsellor Sabbie Dare doesn’t believe her troubled client, Cliff Houghton, is capable of evil.  But Cliff has become the prime suspect in the murder of a young boy after the police catch him lurking in the moors where the body was found.

Continuing the therapy they’d begun together, Sabbie recovers disturbing childhood memories from Cliff’s subconscious, shedding light on a spate of crimes that terrorized the English countryside twenty years earlier.  And when a second child goes missing, Sabbie must piece together fragments of the buried past before another innocent victim is robbed of his life.”

This should be a film – or at the very least Sally Wainwright should be adapting it as a 3-part TV drama because I had the equivalent of Sarah Lancashire in my head (with long dark hair).  Sabbie is a brave, fiesty, funny,  Shaman who keeps hens with hilarious namIn the moorses and innocent people from being unfairly punished – whilst at the same time knowing when there’s evil afoot – especially if it’s directed at her… and there’re some proper “NO!!!” moments in this, let me tell you.

In fact I loved it so much I thought it deserved a better front cover and so I designed one myself. I’m not saying the current one isn’t good, I just thought it could do with a greater element of ‘menace’  – and I do love a hint of abandoned neglect when it’s called for.

10/10 – Fast-paced, believable and totally absorbing.


About debscooper

I read, I write, I tweet, I blog and I avoid housework whenever I can.


7 thoughts on “Book Review: ‘In the Moors’ by Nina Milton

  1. I am so glad you recommended this Deborah. I thoroughly enjoyed the suspnse and page turning action. The fact that sabbie is a Shaman really appealed to me too. It really fires the imagination and makes me think that perhaps some people can see things that the evry day Joe can’t. Hope I get Nina when I do the short story module.


    Posted by carole925 | March 29, 2016, 7:44 am
  2. Thank you for an amazing review, Deborah, I’m delighted by your words, your score and your wonderful new cover, which cleverly depicts the interior of Brokeltuft Cottage. I do hope you enjoy the next two in the Shaman Mystery Series as much as the first one
    Nina Milton http://kitchentablewriters.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by ninahare | April 19, 2016, 8:19 am
  3. Well deserved thank you Deborah.


    Posted by carole925 | April 19, 2016, 10:55 am
  4. It should definitely be a film! More action and scenery create ‘visions’ more graphic on a film screen… Above or Beneath the Tor. Sabbie is for the cinema screen. Let’s talk movies if we must. I am not an expert, but I am a movie fun. Take for instance “Dad’s Army”. Well, I have watched the series each one of them on television…I never felt the need to buy any of them episodes. However when it became a movie, I went in as a doubting Thomas, but when I came out I was resurrected with the revelations on the screen.It was a Powwow! From the beginning till the end. I can not even remember which TV channel I saw the series on TV sets! But I do remember the Cinema complex at the Cressex Centre in High Wycombe, An afternoon performance second week running, someone told me, and it was packed. Now compare their difference! I will be brief and to the point. The cinema gives you the feeling of an open space, and people, action on the screen, you cannot even begin to compare, because the power of the screen has it all. It’s a winner full stop. The sound in digital stereo, can not be compared with our TV sets in our sitting rooms. …”Dark misty forests, in thick fog, and grippy crackling dry leaves, and the sound of footsteps in the dark…are really meant for cinemas and movies. Nina Milton’s writings will succeed one way or another because her writing is very descriptive, direct, alive and well controlled, giving you suspense with a pipette, and on occasions wondering in hot or cold sweats. I have not read the third one, I got it, only because I have so mush to read for my course. But I am looking forward to July like a kid waits for Christmas to open his presents. I have six so far to read before, God willing the next plan for an OCA course. The next question is. Timing? Wait for more time for sales to consolidate, perhaps? Meanwhile, select a scriptwriter, or the author takes this lovely journey like Alan Bennett did. Select actors and take a good commanding part as an Author in all the complexities of movie making. Tese are decisions to be taken by the experts advising Authors. My apologies for not showing any paragraphs!!! I am not confident of computers and wonder instead of a New paragraph I see my writing disappearing into thin air…cloud nine! On occasions, I am lucky to have by friend guiding me and all is well. No time to study a computer course…summertime perhaps…after I complete all the books I plan to read for blissful pleasure. Will follow as usual Nina Milton’s blog. At times I can not place Nina’s blog directly on my Facebook on other times I have no problems! I don’t know why?


    Posted by Nicholas Poulcherios | May 6, 2016, 1:14 am
  5. Nicholas, thank you for reading and commenting so thoroughly! I’m glad you enjoy Nina Milton’s writing as much as I (and a lot of others) do.
    Dad’s Army is a film I missed at the cinema, but I will definitely be watching it when it arrives in DVD form. You sound as if you’re enjoying your studies with the OCA – what course are you taking as a matter of interest?


    Posted by debsriccio | May 7, 2016, 1:04 pm

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