Overkill


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Jul 18, Carolyn rated it really liked it. This gripping mystery, set in New Zealand, is by a new, talented writer, Vanda Symon. She displays a vivid sense of place, a small rural community in decline which conceals an ugly, underlying crime with worldwide economic repercussions. I was immediately drawn in by the startling, tension-packed beginning which was quite upsetting. The protagonist is a young, rookie policewoman, Sam Shephard, tiny in stature but tough. She is a well written, relatable character.

She is the sole law enforcement This gripping mystery, set in New Zealand, is by a new, talented writer, Vanda Symon. She is the sole law enforcement officer in the small village surrounded by cattle and sheep ranches. Its principal industry was meatpacking plants which are closing or moving elsewhere. Sam displays diligence, determination, and insight in her police duties, and hopes to become a detective.

She is a loyal friend, but is also outspoken, quick to anger, and has some jealousy issues. A young woman has been killed, leaving behind a distraught husband and young daughter. Signs point to suicide, but Sam calls out a search party and her body is found. Evidence points to murder.

The husband happens to be the past boyfriend of Sam, and they lived together for two years. After their relationship ended, the heartbroken Sam displayed anger and jealousy when he married the now-deceased woman. She becomes the victim of animosity of many of the townspeople and ordered to avoid any investigation or interference with the case.

Nevertheless, Sam becomes relentless in pursuing the killer and discovering their motivation and is determined to clear her name. This leads to a suspenseful, dangerous and action-packed conclusion. Recommended, and I have already downloaded the second book in the Sam Shephard series.

View 2 comments. Atmospheric sense of place in this murder mystery which features an excellent main protagonist. Review for the tour.

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We've got this little dog Jedda is a 3 year old Australian terrier female. She's short, red-golden haired, extremely independent, determined to the point of obsession, friendly but can switch quickly into extreme bolshie and she is absolutely and utterly incapable of stepping away from an argument.

She's the sort of dog that will continue the fight after she's been physically picked up and carried away from the conflict point. Which is a tricky approach as the reader is going to have to like Sam, or at least feel some sense of connection with her, and be comfortable that Sam is fairly investigating this death. Which is complicated because the grief-stricken widower is Sam's ex-lover. Somebody that you'd have to be dead or thick not have noticed Sam still holds quite a torch for.

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That, and some really Perhaps a little unfairly as it was Sam that first wonders if this death wasn't more than a tragic suicide and it's her sniffing around that finds the forged prescription that triggers the murder enquiry in the first place. Needless to say, a piddling little technicality like "suspicion" and "suspended" isn't going to stop Sam, anymore than a cow manure shampoo or a few stitches in the head.


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  7. And that's got to be one of the funniest scenes I've read in years - thinking about it still made me cry with laughter when we were changing our own ute tyre the other day! Whilst there's always the exception to the rule, in the main there are some elements that are kind of expected in some forms of Crime Fiction. With your cop protagonist it doesn't hurt that they are a bit of a self-starter. It works well if there's conflict with higher authorities, and suspension allows your cop to head off into somewhat tricky "procedural" territory. There's really nothing wrong with using some formulaic elements in a book provided that they aren't one-dimensional and there's enough other elements for a reader to identify with to allow you to forgive the occasional blatant setup.

    Sam and her best friend, housemate Maggie are a good pairing - whilst Maggie takes no active part in the investigation part of the novel, she's the calm in Sam's chaos. And the affection, sarcasm, pithy commentary and observations between the two of them are frequently very very touching and funny. Part of what I really liked about these books was that sense of humour. Frequently self-deprecating, the humorous touches are part of what makes the first-person voice work. At no stage is Sam overbearingly smug or self-serving.

    She's flawed and human and probably harder on herself than anybody around her could ever hope to be. OVERKILL is the first book in what is now a 4 book series, and having read the next two before I went back to re-read this one, I can see the developmental elements in this debut. Every series, after all, has to start somewhere and there's nothing worse than a debut book that says and does it all. Sam has places to go, people to annoy, problems to solve, ladders to climb, snakes to slide back down again. You just have to hope that 4 books isn't the end and there's a lot more of Sam in the future.

    Expect a flurry of these reviews - I've been slack and need to catch up with talking about this terrific series! A great version of a police procedural with a different twist. The characterization was amazing! Once again, another no bookmark needed book from Orenda! Thanks so much to Orenda for this free copy:. Jun 30, Abbie rated it it was amazing Shelves: june However, with Overkill they have really outdone themselves. I could look at it for hours it is just so stunning! I would happily have this on my wall. Set in a rural community in New Zealand, the town is shocked when a young mother is found dead.

    Sam sets out to clear her name and find the killer on her own. The beginning of Overkill literally left me breathless. Brutally beautiful, Symon gets right to the emotional core of absolute fear and the writing is uncomfortably outstanding. Overkill continues to deliver on all fronts as the book progresses. Police Inspector Sam Shephard is a fantastic character and Symon has ensured that readers will want to meet her again in further books. While Overkill is crime fiction at its best, the sense of humour displayed by Sam adds an additional appeal.

    She is incredibly human and it was her honesty about her feelings along with her humour that really made me warm to her. I have no doubt that everyone who reads this book will love Sam. The plot is perfectly paced with twists and turns that constantly keep you on the back foot. Prepare to be constantly second guessing and looking at everyone with suspicion. The small community setting aids this perfectly with a cast of characters who all potentially have something to hide.

    Secrets and lies abound as Sam tries to get to the bottom of the murder. Overkill is a real page turner with shocks and surprises throughout. The sense of place is created well and the reader is completely transported to New Zealand. 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. If you read and enjoy crime fiction, you will adore it too. Visiting the country has been on my bucket list forever but until I can achieve that, reading a book set there is the next best thing!

    The prologue to Overkill had me in bits, it was just so chilling and calculated in its execution — literally! The town of Mataura is one of those places where everybody knows everyone else and their business. Until the death of Gaby Knowes the worst crime that police constable Sam Shephard had to deal with was cattle rustling. However the death of Gaby was devastating for the small-knit community and for Sam personally.

    It was her reactions and feelings that made her so believable and more human than just a character on a page. Unfortunately for her, her superiors believe her to be a suspect and she is treated like a pariah by most colleagues and many of the townspeople. Maggie was an absolute star and gave Sam support and sympathy when she needed it and a kick up the bum at other times. We could all do with a friend like that! The characterisation was excellent — even for those playing a minor role and the sense of place was atmospheric and easily imagined.

    I could easily see in my mind the track roads leading to remote farms — far too remote for my liking. As you would expect from a crime thriller, there are surprises in store and one or two wrong garden paths. I had a few suspects in mind at various times but there were certain areas where I was way off beam. This will be a series I will be keen to follow I found this a rather enjoyable read about a small town policewoman being caught up in something much much larger. The plot twists came thick and fast, and while I questioned adding in a subplot, they came together deliciously in an explosive climax.

    I was saddened by the lack of any real resolution, but I will have to read the next in this series. And as with small towns, you have your tight-knit communities, but it also means rumours spread, and you find out how you can be surrounded by so many people, yet feel so alone. Overkill is full of great characterisation, all the characters felt authentic. Sam, particularly, was a fantastic character, exactly what you want in a main protagonist — likeable, determined, someone you can get behind and root for.

    What I really liked was how real Sam felt, especially when you see her relationship with her best friend, Maggie — you can just picture it, the banter, the support, the genuine friendship. The idea that a police officer has been taken off a case, but continues to investigate it, is not a new one. Yet, this novel felt entirely original.

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    Also, Overkill is such a fitting title. A fresh, new [to me], and exciting voice in crime fiction! This was a really enjoyable story, I loved Sam as the lead character and I warmed to her straight away. I thought she was excellent and was rooting for her throughout the story as the developments came through in the case. This book flowed really well for me and I was able to pick it up and jump straight back in to the story after leaving it for a few hours. I loved the writing style and how the story progressed to the ending.

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    Four stars from me for this one, definitely an author I'm going to be looking out for and I loved the insight in to New Zealand, a fabulous setting for the book and that cover is amazing!! Jul 31, Sooz P. Sometimes a book comes along which you just want to shout from the rooftops about, and Overkill for me is that book. This is one of the best introductions to a new crime series that I have read.

    The author, Vanda Symon, sets the novel in her home country, New Zealand. The crime rate appears to be low, and nothing untoward seems to happen, which is why the discovery of the body of one of their own, sends the community, and even the police working on the case into shock. I was beginning to imagine that there would be many pointing the finger at each other and playing the blame game.

    But Sam tries her best to find out what happened, even when there are many obstacles thrown in her way. I did have a huge amount of empathy for Sam throughout the book. I think she is a character who fears change, and she is a person who becomes very attached to people who she knows well, particularly her friend Maggie. But when it comes down to the case, she is determined to get to the bottom of what has happened, and she is feisty in her determination to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice. Overkill is an immersive, page-turner that will have you gripped from the chilling opening right through to the heart pounding conclusion.

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    Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review. Rounded up from 4. One problem, the woman is the wife of her former boyfriend Lockie, a man who she still has feelings for. She soon finds evidence that Gabriella has been murdered and has to call in the Rounded up from 4.

    She soon finds evidence that Gabriella has been murdered and has to call in the police from the neighbouring town of Gore who quickly mark her as a suspect. Sam stumbles upon a catastrophic conspiracy that will put her life in danger. Will she catch the killer and clear her name? I found this to be a really quick read, gripping me from the very beginning. I devoured the three hundred or so pages in two sittings, which for me is super fast! I loved Sam. She got a bit of a temper and can be a little sarcastic at times but she makes up for that by having a good heart.

    She puts aside her feelings, even though Lockie moved on so quickly after they broke up, to try and solve the case. The relationship between her and her best friend Maggie was also a joy to read. Maggie is straight talking and can always be counted on to bring Sam back down to Earth.

    You really get a feel of New Zealand from the wildlife to the unusually named trees and plants. The most times anoying variable output randomness. The only randomness is in which units you pull, which has catch-up mechanics for promoting trash into high-stat versions.

    Monetization is then balanced around the whales getting 10x duplicates, so getting single copies for fun is possible. I get so angry when they get hit by the ennemy then get their crit on the 2nd attack and hit like 2 times de Intial HP of the ennemy. Ahh, but we are biased towards remembering these SO much more than the times when things go as they should. Got a character with just enough HP to survive a standard attack from the only enemy unit in range?

    This has been a basic law of Fire Emblem since the beginning. Super high crit chance that could kill a boss?

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