A Year of Orenda – Containment by Vanda Symon

Today I pass the blog back to Mandie who is finally sharing her thoughts on Containment, book three in the Sam Shephard series from Vanda Symon. Mandie read all three of these in one Kiwi thriller binge back in February and we are both in agreement that this is an cracking series. If you want to see my thoughts on the book, you can find my review here. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Amazon

About the Book

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…

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books

Mandie’s Thoughts

I loved the first two books in the Sam Shepherd series so much that as soon as I was able to get a hold of this the third in the series, I had to read it. I have really enjoyed getting to know Sam in Overkill and The Ringmaster as she is down to earth and a real fighter. She often finds herself in the middle of trouble especially with her superiors so I was looking forward to seeing what she would end up in the middle of this time.

The book opens with Sam coming across a scene of total chaos with looters running riot amongst beached cargo containers and straight away she is in the middle of a fight that sees her in hospital. As if this isn’t bad enough, she soon finds herself having to assist in retrieving a body from the water. Due to her boss DI Johns having a real dislike for her Sam often finds herself with the crap jobs. There is still the resentment about the fact that she seems to have been fast tracked to Detective and he is not averse to letting her know what he thinks of her skills. If it wasn’t for her best friend Maggie and some of her colleagues, I think Sam would find herself in a lot more strife than she does.  

I really love Sam, she is short and feisty but has a real sense of fair play and can at times be quite self-depreciating. Her friendship with Maggie plays a big part in the books and helps give the characters that extra bit of realism. With the books set in Dunedin, a place the author knows very well, the reader can get a real flavour of New Zealand life even if they have never been lucky enough to travel there. You can’t help but get engrossed in the book very easily as you try to work out how the events and people are linked. With the grisly mixed with humour that will possibly have you chuckling at things that maybe you shouldn’t, this is certainly a welcome addition to the series. Even if you haven’t read the first two books you will still be able to enjoy Containment as it works just as well as a stand-alone.

Vanda Symon has once again played a blinder, with her writing style, characters and setting Sam Shepherd is quickly becoming one of my favourite detectives and I can’t wait to see what she ends up getting involved in next.

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.

Author Links: Twitter | Website

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