I've read Vanda Symon's books before but for some reason never got around to reviewing them.  But there's absolutely no chore in reading them again.  And probably once more if I can.  I really like DC Sam Shepherd - she's a great central character, - a tricky, mouthy, up front cop with attitude.  Plus there are some absolutely laugh out loud bits in these books (I'm particularly looking forward to the scene where Sam has to try to change a tyre on a ute all over again).  But more when I write the book up properly.

From the Blurb:

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.

Opening Lines:

The day it was ordained that Gabriella Knowes would die there were no harbingers, omens or owl's calls.  No tolling of bells.  With the unquestioning courtesy of the well brought up, she invited death in.

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

Sam Shephard, a young sole-charge police constable in Mataura, is the main character in a new series of crime novels set in New Zealand. When a young mother in the town is brutally murdered (it seems to be a professional job), Sam is at the heart of the police hunt to find the killer. But then Sam's past relationship with the dead woman's husband is revealed. Sam is stood down from the case and is now a prime murder suspect. Frustrated, Sam loses her cool. She can't stop herself making murder inquiries and gets into serious trouble with her police superiors. But then the young constable stumbles onto something. The murdered woman was working as a journalist and had uncovered a local scandal. She'd been killed to keep her quiet. When Sam enters this world she's in real physical danger, until at last a conspiracy is uncovered and the killer revealed. Disillusioned, Sam prepares to leave town. What will she do next? 

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Submitted by Karen on Mon, 28/02/2011 - 07:12 pm