Sunday 7 March 2021

Bound by Vanda Symon @vandasymon BLOG TOUR #SamShephard @OrendaBooks #Competition #Win #Giveaway #Prize


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.

Bound by Vanda Symon is published in paperback by Orenda Books on 18 March 2021 and is the fourth in the Sam Shephard series. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this blog tour.

I am a huge huge fan of Vanda Symon's writing and the Sam Shephard series is one of my all time favourite police procedural series. Sam is a feisty, mouthy, loyal and hard working woman. She holds her own in the male-dominated police force that services the New Zealand city of Dunedin. She's an absolute delight to read about, and I really think that Bound is the best story yet. This author gets better and better.

Whilst Bound is part of a series and I really would urge anyone to read all of the books, it's perfectly easy to read this one as a stand alone story. Sam and her team do have a back story, but the author cleverly fills the reader in, making previous events a major part of the current story.

The reader is led into Bound through a chilling and quite harrowing prologue which sets the scene for what will become a complicated and complex murder investigation for Sam and the team. Teenage Declan arrives home to find carnage. His father is dead, his face blown away by a shotgun and his mother is gagged and tied to a chair in the same room. Nothing has been taken, and John and Jill Henderson are known to be an upstanding, wealthy, successful couple in the local community.

It's a particularly violent killing, meticulously planned and not a shred of evidence left at the scene. Declan is distraught, Jill is injured and traumatised and nobody seems to know of a motive. However, it soon becomes clear that John Henderson's business may not have been quite above board. Jill makes it plain that she knows that John was involved with people she'd rather not know about, and that she distanced herself from the murkier side of his business.

Almost immediately, two of the most well-known criminals in Dunedin are in the picture. Sam and the police team have their own reasons for wanting to see these guys behind bars, and there's a sense of determination that sets in. No stone is unturned, and it seems that the police have got their killers.

But have they? Sam is uneasy about many things. There are little things that just don't add up. Trying to prove this is difficult, not least, because her boss and the rest of the team disagree with her. Sam is a fighter though and despite several warnings, she carries on.

Vanda Symon is not kind to Sam. Not only does she have a complex and very difficult case to solve, she's also struggling with numerous personal issues. Her beloved father is at the end of his life, in Hospice care, and her relationship with her mother has never been easy. Watching her dad die is almost too much to bear. 

Bound is another triumph for this very talented author. It is everything that you need from crime fiction, and more. A fabulous female lead character who knows her own mind, a small, yet perfectly formed police team filled with an array of fascinating characters and a blistering plot line that doesn't fail to serve up thrills and twists along the way. Do not miss this, it's edge-of-the-seat drama that will satisfy any fan of crime fiction. Highly recommended.

As part of Random Things Through My Letterbox Tenth Birthday celebrations, I'm delighted to offer one set of all four of the Sam Shephard books

Overkill, The Ringmaster, Containment and Bound

Entry is simple, just fill in the competition widget. Competition will run for seven days.


A set of FOUR Sam Shephard books by Vanda Symon

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.

Twitter @vandasymon
Instagram @vandasymon

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