The passionate, young police officer Sam Shephard returns in a taut, atmospheric and compelling police procedural, which sees her take matters into her own hands when the official investigation into the murder of a local businessman fails to add up…
The New Zealand city of Dunedin is rocked when a wealthy and apparently respectable businessman is murdered in his luxurious home while his wife is bound and gagged, and forced to watch. But when Detective Sam Shephard and her team start investigating the case, they discover that the victim had links with some dubious characters.
The case seems cut and dried, but Sam has other ideas. Weighed down by her dad’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and by complications in her relationship with Paul, she needs a distraction, and launches her own investigation. And when another murder throws the official case into chaos, it ’s up to Sam to prove that the killer is someone no one could ever suspect.
Hello Detective Sam Shephard, welcome back into my headspace, back to take me into the murky underworld of beautiful Dunedin. This time it was the murder of a wealthy businessman, who took our attention, his wife tied up and left until discovered by their teenage son.
As if a murder wasn’t enough, Symon didn’t spare us Sam’s complicated personal life which added that perfect balance, that human emotive touch so often missing from many crime novels. I loved that her relationship with fellow detective Paul, as her little defences broke down and the realisation that it wasn’t just a fling but something so much more. There was also her family, a dying father, a mother forever critical as Symon heaped on the pressure. Yet Shephard was a tough cookie, resilient, and so very determined, everything you liked in a woman detective, something Symon always made sure to emphasis especially when it came to her relationship with her boss. He was a man I detested, not outwardly sexist but numerous grudges and derision that simmered just below the service in his interactions with Shephard. I so wanted Symon to give Shephard a reason to retaliate, to sock it to him, and without leaking out a spoiler let me just say she didn’t disappoint.
Lets get back to the murder, and as Shephard soon began to realise all was not as it seemed Symon added in quite a few doubts, made us and Shephard think outside the box, and widen our horizons. I admired Symon’s ability hide the clues deep within her narrative, so hard for us to guess exactly who was responsible and just where we were going to end up. It wasn’t a dramatic, shouty revealing of the answers but more a gradual unwinding, of a detective brave enough to go out on a limb against her colleagues, and stand up for herself.
The murder and its fallout may have been resolved but Shephard’s personal life still needed answers, and you felt we had reached a turning point, a new direction that Symon left us contemplating. The next novel will be extremely interesting and I am hoping we will not have to wait too long for the next instalment.
I want to thank Orenda for a copy of Bound to read and review and to Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Vanda Symon is a crime writer, TV presenter and radio host from Dunedin, New
Zealand, and the chair of the Otago Southland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors. The Sam Shephard series has climbed to number one on the New Zealand bestseller list, and has also been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel and for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. She currently lives in Dunedin, with her husband and two sons.