When the body of a young mother is found on the banks of New Zealand’s Mataura River, young female police constable Sam Shephard begins an investigation, with horrifying and very personal implications. Book one in an addictive, atmospheric new series.
*** SHORTLISTED for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2019*** ***SHORTLISTED for the Ngaio Marsh Award***
’The tensions within a tightknit village, along with various aspects of Kiwi society, are laid out with real authority, but it is Symon’s copper Sam, self-deprecating and very human, who represents the writer’s real achievement’ Guardian
‘Lively evocation of small-town life, with a plot that grabs the reader’s attention with a heart-stopping opening and doesn’t let go’ The Times
‘An achievement that blends heart-stopping thrills with deep, believable characters in a stark New Zealand setting. It will leave readers reaching for the next Sam Shephard mystery’ Foreword Reviews
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 Shephard, 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. To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover. When Sam finds herself on the list of suspects and suspended from duty, she must cast aside her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands.
To find the murderer … and clear her name.
A taut, atmospheric and page-turning thriller, Overkill marks the start of an unputdownable and unforgettable series from one of New Zealand’s finest crime writers.
‘A sassy heroine, fabulous sense of place, and rip-roaring stories with a twist’ Kate Mosse
‘Symon has created a compelling series lead, and her treatment of small-town New Zealand is superbly atmospheric. This one’s a cracker’ Liam McIlvanney
‘Overkill certainly feels like the beginning of something great. It’s a clever first novel and a dark thriller that’s well-paced and well-plotted … with a satisfying and fitting ending’ CultureFly
‘Symon nicely balances action, character and story in a well-drawn rural setting, and realistically speckles the book with light-hearted moments and humour throughout’ Kiwi Crime
‘Powerful, coolly assured, and an absolute belter of a read’ LoveReading
‘The key to the novel for me is definitely the humorous portrayal of the one-woman police band, both extremely naïve and too eager to prove herself in the eyes of her superiors and against the silent backdrop of her parents’ disappointment’ Crime Review
‘With a twisty plot, a protagonist who shines and beautifully written observations of the cruellest things, Overkill is crime fiction at its best and this is an outstanding book. I predict that this series is going to soar here in the UK and it deserves to’ Crime Watch
‘The author’s style of storytelling is smooth and engaging, making Overkill very easy to read, which is enough to keep you cranking through the pages. The ending is a cracker … We’ll look forward to the next in the series because with the author’s storytelling skills, the first is a pleasure to read’ Crime Fiction Lover
‘Overkill is Symon’s first novel, but it reads like the polished effort of a genre veteran. More, please’ Booklist
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 also been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for best crime novel. She currently lives in Dunedin, with her husband and two sons.
"Part of a new wave of Kiwi crime writers . . . Symon’s talent for creating well-rounded characters permeates throughout." —Crimewatch
“More, please.” --Booklist
"an achievement that blends heart-stopping thrills with deep, believable characters in a stark New Zealand setting." --Foreword Reviews