Unraveled Visions (A Shaman Mystery) is the second of The Shaman Mysteries by Nina Milton. This review has been written by Lee Fielding.
We’re back on the rain-drenched moors and the rugged, forbidding coastline of Somerset for the second Shaman Mystery by Nina Milton; Unraveled Visions. One of the many things that draws me to read these books and that keeps me looking out for them, is the brilliantly described landscapes, both of Somerset and of the shamanic otherworld – the place shamans go in when they’re in a trance.
As with number one of the series, In the Moors, which I reviewed for SkyLightRain on its release, I was hooked from the first page, a tense description of the body of an unknown young woman being winched up from her watery grave in a silted gravel pit on the River Parrett.
Like In the Moors, Unraveled Visions is a mystical thriller; a whodunit with supernatural undertones, but it still feels very much of the real world, because shamans are part of the alternative therapy community all over Britain and the US, as well as in traditional communities.
Nina Milton, author of In the Moors and writing tutor with the Open College of the Arts, explains what it takes to breathe life into a thriller.
There are many strange truths about writing crime and thriller fiction, and one of them is just how much descriptive detail can boost the readability of a novel. John Gardner, one of the great thriller writers, summed it up perfectly when he said ‘Detail is the lifeblood of fiction’.
The more detail you chose to include, the less predictable the writing becomes. Skimming over a description loses the reader, zoning-in absorbs him. It’s a way to create fiction that is strong, absorbing and energetic.
Adding detail to your crime story isn’t the same as over-describing. By looking closely at the most interesting parts of the whole – whether it’s an artifact, a character, a landscape or an interior – the description of it will be enhanced. The reader doesn’t want to see it all; that’s like being too close to the screen in the cinema – too much information. Continue reading