søndag den 13. februar 2011

Vanda Symon, Overkill (2007)

This police procedural from New Zealand is the first volume of the Sam Shephard series.

Gabriella thinks she lets a telephone repairman into her house, but her visitor has something else in store for the young mother. After the quotation I shared with you the other day, I was caught up in this story, wishing I could forget about work and just sprint through the story. I had to know who and why! No more about the plot - it´s fine - enough said. And though the prologue would be tough reading for most parents, this is not a graphic story that revels in gruesome details.

Sam Shephard is a small, twenty-eight-year-old cop who grew up having to prove she could do everything a bit better than her brothers. She is an interesting protagonist who is down-to-earth and easy to relate to. She is not exactly used to ugly murder cases, and as she knows Gabriella´s family far too well, it is difficult for her to draw the line between work and personal involvement. First of all she is a good police woman, however, always dogged and determined, using her brains and any other resources at hand to get results.

The story offers a good sense of place. Mataura, New Zealand, is a world which is different from mine in some ways, yet I have trod in my share of cow dung and felt oddly at home in this farming community. Did I remember to mention there is also a touch of humour?

Vanda is a friend from my Crime and Mystery FriendFeed room, and when she heard my lament about how difficult it was to get her debut in Europe, she sent me a review copy with a lovely inscription. But as Vanda has landed a London agent recently, there is hope that this great series will be published closer to my home soon (her latest novel is on the New Zealand bestseller list right now). We are keeping our fingers crossed, Vanda, because we want access to your Sam Shephard books!

Global Reading Challenge # 5, Australasia (New Zealand)

12 kommentarer:

Maxine Clarke sagde ...

Thanks for the nice review, Dorte, I shall look out for this one when available via the London connection!

Dorte H sagde ...

Maxine: I hope Vanda - or EuroCrime - will keep us posted.

Anonym sagde ...

Dorte - An excellent review! And I'm so glad you finally got a chance to start this series. It is a shame that great Kiwi authors like Vanda aren't easily available yet all over the world. I'm glad Vanda got a London agent :-).

Kelly sagde ...

Very good review!!

And as you said, a story doens't have to be graphic in detail to still impart terror in the heart.

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: in the future I assume there will be more ebooks to solve this problem.

Kelly: no, she shows the horrible situation quite well without it.

Unknown sagde ...

What a cool book! Maybe this should be one of my Global reading books.

Joanne Ganley sagde ...

I've read all four of Vanda Symon's Sam Shepard series, and they just get better and better especially this last one - 'Bound'. Enjoy the rest.

Dorte H sagde ...

Clarissa: I think it would be an excellent choice for the global challenge.

Joanne: I have heard that, and I am really looking forward to the next ones.

Kiwicraig sagde ...

Nice review Dorte.

I agree - NZ authors need to get ebook versions of their novels 'out there', even if they aren't yet picked up for print copy publication by the overseas arms of their publishers etc. The world of books is changing, and there are many opportunities there if the publishers can be a bit smart about things.

Clarissa: I can highly recommend this title, and any of the Vanda Symon books, for the GRC.

Dorte H sagde ...

Thank you, Craig.

Now that Vanda has a London agent I hope we can get her books soon, but when it comes to writers´ backlists, I know that some publish them via Smashwords so their readers can buy e-books at reasonable prices and catch up with the series. That might be a good solution for some writers.

Vanda Symon sagde ...

Thanks for the lovely review, Dorte, glad you enjoyed the book!

Don't worry, if I get some European contracts courtesy of my new agent you'll probably hear my squeal of delight from over there!

Dorte H sagde ...

Vanda: Sam Shephard was a great find, and everybody tells me the series grows even better - so do give us a loud shout!