Bound by Vanda Symon #bookreview #Bound #YeahNoir #SouthCrossCrime

When the official investigation into the murder of a respectable local businessman fails to add up, and personal problems start to play havoc with her state of mind, New Zealand’s favourite young detective Sam Shephard turns vigilante…
The New Zealand city of Dunedin is rocked when a wealthy and apparently respectable businessman is murdered in his luxurious home while his wife is bound and gagged, and forced to watch. But when Detective Sam Shephard and her team start investigating the case, they discover that the victim had links with some dubious characters.
The case seems cut and dried, but Sam has other ideas. Weighed down by her dad’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and by complications in her relationship with Paul, she needs a distraction, and launches her own investigation. And when another murder throws the official case into chaos, it’s up to Sam to prove that the killer is someone no one could ever suspect…


Hi and welcome to my review of Bound!

It’s starting to feel like a winter tradition: gloomy, rainy, flat-out miserable weather outside and me, sat by the window, transported, at least in spirit, to New Zealand to spend a few hours with my favourite Kiwi detective Sam Shephard.

Bound is Sam’s fourth outing and while you could probably read it as a standalone without feeling lost, I feel this is a series best read in order, to get a proper feel for the characters, notably Sam herself, in this fourth instalment, which is, in my humble opinion, the very best yet! Let me tell you a little more about it.

In the dead of night, Detective Sam Shephard is called out to the middle of nowhere to investigate a brutal home invasion: a business man murdered, his wife Jill badly hurt, and their seventeen-year-old son Declan the one to find them and call it in. Going over the events with Jill, Sam immediately comes to the conclusion that this case sounds a lot more like an execution than a home invasion. As I happen to know Sam is no idiot, I was immediately triggered! What was so special about this man, what could he possibly have done to warrant being executed? It soon becomes clear that he was in contact with a few… erm… unsavoury people, let’s say. Once again there is a whole cesspool to uncover, and once again it is up to Sam to do so.

At one point, Sam is involved in a high-speed chase in order to catch an escaping person of interest, but to me, this whole novel felt like a high-speed chase! I read it in an afternoon, it was literally unputdownable, I could not pull away if I wanted to (although, admittedly, I didn’t try very hard 😁).

Coming back to this series, one thing is certain: I still love Sam, that hasn’t changed one bit. Funny and at times delightfully snarky, Sam is one of my favourite protagonists out there. She’s trying desperately to juggle the job and her relationships: The Boss a.k.a. Dickhead Johns who’s still a massive bully, her colleague / lover Paul as she’s still learning to let him in, her partner Smithy who’s going through a rough patch to say the least, and her dad in hospital with cancer. She had me rooting for her every step of the way, and since Bound ended on a bit of a personal cliff-hanger for Sam, I can’t wait to find out more! Vanda told me in our little Orentober chat that she’s working on the fifth book in the series, and I for one will be waiting with bated breath!

Bound is a highly satisfying police procedural,  an extremely tense and intense thriller and an absolute page-turner! Definitely recommended to fans of the genre or readers who want to give the genre a try!

Bound is out in eBook today, happy e-publication day to Vanda!! Paperback fans will have to wait until March, I’m afraid, but what a glorious addition to your Orenda shelves this book will make, definitely worth the wait!

Huge thanks to Orenda Books for sending me a gorgeous proof and brightening a gloomy December day!

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