Vanda Symon: The Ringmaster



I’m really excited to be sharing my review of The Ringmaster as part of the blog tour today. My review is written with thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me on the tour and providing my copy of the book.


Marginalized 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 . . . Rich with atmosphere, humor, and a dark, shocking plot, The Ringmaster marks the return of passionate, headstrong police officer, Sam Shephard, in the next installment of Vanda Symon’s evocative series.


l loved reading Overkill last year so I was delighted to be given the opportunity to continue this wonderful series with The Ringmaster. Detective Sam Shephard is a great character and I was intrigued to see how she would cope in a new position in a new city. She didn’t disappoint me: she’s quick thinking, compassionate and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. I loved the way she stood up to her boss and I hope that her attempts to prove herself see her rising up the ranks as the series goes on.

I’ve never been to New Zealand, but that didn’t matter. I was transported to the setting straight away and drawn into the events in the novel. I found the circus environment captivating – an interesting location for a crime that enabled Symon to introduce us to a range of engaging characters including an elephant! As there are so many human characters, they are all suspects and this provides us with the beginning of a complex and exciting plot. The Ringmaster is the perfect embodiment of the “just one more chapter” cliche and I loved every second. There was even a moment that had me  blubbering in public! There are so many twists and turns that invited me to keep guessing and I really wanted to see how everything tied together. I had no idea that the ending was coming!

I can’t wait to see what Sam Shephard does next!

The Ringmaster is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here



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