Chaos reigns in the sleepy village of Aramoana on the New Zealand coast, when a series of shipping containers wash up on the beach and looting begins. Detective Constable Sam Shephard experiences the desperation of the scavengers first-hand, and ends up in an ambulance, nursing her wounds and puzzling over an assault that left her assailant for dead. What appears to be a clear-cut case of a cargo ship running aground soon takes a more sinister turn when a skull is found in the sand, and the body of a diver is pulled from the sea…
a diver who didn’t die of drowning…
As first officer at the scene, Sam is handed the case, much to the displeasure of her superiors, and she must put together an increasingly confusing series of clues to get to the bottom of a mystery that may still have more victims…
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.
This was very twisty and turny with plenty of red herrings. Well written and gripping, showing the dark underbelly of the sunny New Zealand coastal towns.
I really enjoyed the way the author conjured up the landscape, even though I’ve never been to New Zealand, I could picture the ocean and the various buildings the characters enter. I could even imagine the differing officers and persons of interest quite vividly.
The plot is clever and the characters have nuance and shade, Sam’s a cop but not unwilling to colour outside the lines, making her feel more realistic and I liked her partner Smithy.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.