Death is stalking the South Island of New Zealand
Marginalised by previous antics, Sam Shephard, is on the bottom rung of detective training in Dunedin, and her boss makes sure she knows it. She gets involved in her first homicide investigation, when a university student is murdered in the Botanic Gardens, and Sam soon discovers this is not an isolated incident. There is a chilling prospect of a predator loose in Dunedin, and a very strong possibility that the deaths are linked to a visiting circus…
Determined to find out who’s running the show, and to prove herself, Sam throws herself into an investigation that can have only one ending…
Happy Sunday! Welcome back to the second Sunday of #SymonSunday, last weeks review was of Overkill and you can check out my review here. I was so excited to immediately dive into Ringmaster after finishing the first book of the Sam Shephard crime fiction series, I’m so glad that I did.
Ringmaster was published by Orenda Books on the 18th of February 2019, it’s available as an audiobook, paperback AND ebook, so a format to suit everyone! You can purchase a physical copy here, while you can grab an ebook copy directly from the Orenda Books estore here.
Have you ever loved a main protagonist so much, that moving to the next book in a series is like visiting a new friend? Well, that’s how I felt returning to Sam’s life in The Ringmaster. Things have changed since Overkill, some life changes has occurred and Sam has found herself in Dunedin, being at the bottom of the police pecking order while training to become a detective. Her colleagues, especially her boss are a bit dubious of this go – with – her – gut, 5 foot, ballsy newbie but this just pushes Sam to prove that she deserves her position and that she is in fact one of the best. Although Sam is still the best, she isn’t so up in the air daring in The Ringmaster, I felt this was due to her previous antics leaving her marginalised within her department, it’s also the times within this novel that you get to understand her more on a personal level with flecks of vulnerability and an understanding of her family life.
Vanda is one hell of an author, she creates some of the best prologues and crime fiction storylines, and she successfully executes them with an allure she’s created with her literary-twisted mind. The tension packed into the first 4 pages of The Ringmaster is just the tip of the iceberg, as a sadistic predator lurks in the shadows, one who is unpredictable and feels just out of grasp. Vanda’s ability to create a chilled atmosphere while also entwining some humour into her police procedural – crime fiction novels is a serious super power, the details and short snappy chapters which make you feel like you’ve been lassoed and tugged into – you’re an extra detective, racing against the clock to uncover the root of the death.
The Ringmaster is a great second instalment of the Sam Shephard book series, it is a great Yeah Noir read that is written with a New Zealand backdrop, one that entwines all the elements that every crime fiction reader needs, mystery, thrill and suspense. With a gripping plotline, a fresh sea of new characters and sprinklings of Sam humour, you can’t go wrong with adding The Ringmaster to your TBR. Vanda’s 4th book Bound is out early next year so this is the time to catch up on the series, preferably with a frilly tea and some Toffee Pops!
Have you already read The Ringmaster? What did you think? Have you already reviewed it? Share your reviews or book selfies on Twitter / Instagram with the hashtag #Orentober! We’d love to see them and share the book love!