Orenda Books August 30th 2018
Book 1 in the PC Sam Shepherd series. Action-packed, tension-filled and atmospheric police procedural set in New Zealand.
When the body of a young mother is found washed up on the banks of the Mataura River, a small rural community is rocked by her tragic suicide. But all is not what it seems. Sam Shepherd, sole-charge police constable in Mataura, soon discovers the death was no suicide and has to face the realisation that there is a killer in town. To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover. When Sam finds herself on the list of suspect and suspended from duty, she must cast aside her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands. To find the murderer… and clear her name. A taut, atmospheric and pageturning thriller, Overkill marks the start of an unputdownable and unforgettable series from one of New Zealand’s finest crime writers.
Wow! You’ve read the description right? Sounds good Yes? Welcome to New Zealand Noir bought to you by Orenda Books! This one opens with a bang, with a cracking first line – friends you will have to wait until August 30th to read that line – but not long to go now!
Packed with small town vibes, Sam Shepherd is stuck between a rock and a hard place when the wife of her ex is found dead, it looks like suicide, but very quickly it transpires that this is not the case. Despite following procedures, Sam finds herself suspected and suspended. It is a small town and everybody knows everybody’s business, news travels fast and Sam’s tenuous situation swiftly becomes common knowledge. That said, this is her home and she, as much as anyone wants to bring the killer to justice, the small matter of her being suspended from police duties is merely a minor obstacle!
Sam is a feisty soul, she would need to be, occupying the Police Constable role in this small New Zealand rural town. Instantly likeable she has a strong moral compass but doesn’t necessarily tow the line with her superiors. She is one determined lady, although I must say at times her actions made me anxious as she stormed into many a perilous situation.
An engaging read with a likeable main character. The plot was terrific and very much related to the book’s New Zealand location. I enjoyed the rural setting with characters who quickly became familiar in this small town, as they congregated in the local pub. With some tense moments along the way and an ending to match the beginning – i.e with a bang this was a decent piece of crime fiction. The first in the series so I for one will be interested to see what Sam Shepherd does next.
About the Author
Vanda Symon is the best-selling author of four Detective Sam Shepherd crime fiction novels, published in New Zealand, including Overkill (Penguin, 2007), The Ringmaster (Penguin, 2008), Containment (Penguin, 2009), Bound (Penguin, 2011), and the stand-alone psychological thriller, The Faceless (Penguin, 2012). She is a three-time finalist for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Fiction Novel. Her books have also been published in Germany.
Vanda is the producer and host of Write On, a monthly radio show on matters literary on Otago Access Radio, and she also reviews books for National Radio. She is very involved in the New Zealand writing community, having been chair of the Otago Southland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors, and is currently the Chair of Copyright Licensing New Zealand. Vanda has also participated in celebrity debates, acted as a speaker, reader or chair in literary events and festivals in New Zealand and Australia, and toured with The New Zealand Book Council’s Words on Wheels.
Vanda has a professional background as a pharmacist and has recently completed a PhD in science communication, examining the communication of science through crime fiction.
This is a blog tour so do check out the rest of the tour and support the promotion of the book by using that ‘tweeting’ finger!
Thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for organising this tour, inviting me to be involved and providing me with a digital copy of Overkill.