Thursday 25 April 2019

The Ringmaster by Vanda Symon @vandasymon BLOG TOUR @OrendaBooks #SamShephard #TheRingmaster

Death is stalking the South Island of New Zealand
Marginalised by previous antics, Sam Shephard, is on the bottom rung of detective training in Dunedin, and her boss makes sure she knows it. She gets involved in her first homicide investigation, when a university student is murdered in the Botanic Gardens, and Sam soon discovers this is not an isolated incident. There is a chilling prospect of a predator loose in Dunedin, and a very strong possibility that the deaths are linked to a visiting circus…
Determined to find out who’s running the show, and to prove herself, Sam throws herself into an investigation that can have only one ending…
Rich with atmosphere, humour and a dark, shocking plot, The Ringmaster marks the return of passionate, headstrong police officer, Sam Shephard, in the next instalment of Vanda Symon’s bestselling series.

The Ringmaster by Vanda Symon is the second in the Sam Shephard series and is published in paperback by Orenda Books on 18 April. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review for this Blog Tour

Back in July last year, I read and reviewed the first Sam Shephard book; Overkill (here's my review) 
I absolutely loved Overkill and Sam Shephard became my new favourite heroine. I've been so looking forward to finding out just what she gets up to next.

Once again, Orenda Books have totally excelled with this amazing cover. Those colours, and the peaks of the circus tent conjure up such a thrill, and the story inside doesn't disappoint. I absolutely adored this, I read it in almost one sitting, desperately turning the pages as Sam's latest adventures unfolded.

After the events of Overkill, Sam Shephard is now in the small town of Dunedin, she's training to become a detective and living with her friend Maggie and Maggie's Aunt and Uncle. Dunedin is so different to her last posting where she was the only police officer. However, when a young woman's body is found and it is quite obvious that she's been murdered, Sam finds herself, once again in the midst of a murder investigation.

Once more, this talented author has written a prologue that is shocking and to the point, and that's one of the things that I really love about this series. There's no gentle introduction with Vanda Symon, oh no, she starts as she means to go on; with a brutal murder.

And so, we follow Sam as she battles against a bullish boss and countless red herrings and twists along the way. She's determined and gritty and straight to the point; some of her put-downs aimed usually at men are gloriously written - just making her more of a hero, in my view.
I love the way that this author enables her readers to learn a little more about Sam with each book; her relationships with family and with potential lovers are examined in this book in more detail, and to be honest, this made me love her more!

I adore the sense of place that this author creates; her small New Zealand town and it's community come alive within the pages.

Vanda Symon is a wonderful story teller. The Ringmaster is atmospheric, gripping and incredibly satisfying; my only problem is that I read it too quickly and now have to wait for the next instalment! 

Vanda Symon is the best-selling author of four Detective Sam Shephard 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.
Author Kate Mosse has said: ‘Vanda Symon’s fast paced crime novels are as good as anything the US has to offer – a sassy heroine, fabulous sense of place, and rip roaring stories with a twist. Perfect curl-up on the sofa reading.’ Crimewatch has described Vanda as ‘part of a new wave of Kiwi crime writers… Symon’s talent for creating well-rounded characters permeates throughout’.
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 also has participated in celebrity debates, acted as 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.

Follow her on Twitter @vandasymon
Find out more at
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