Vanda Symon: Expectant

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for Expectant. My review is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the tour and to Orenda Books for my copy of the book.


The shocking murder of a heavily pregnant woman throws the New Zealand city of Dunedin into a tailspin, and the devastating crime feels uncomfortably close to home for Detective Sam Shephard as she counts down the days to her own maternity leave.

Confined to a desk job in the department, Sam must find the missing link between this brutal crime and a string of cases involving mothers and children in the past. As the pieces start to come together and the realisation dawns that the killer’s actions are escalating, drastic measures must be taken to prevent more tragedy.

For Sam, the case becomes personal, when it becomes increasingly clear that no one is safe and the clock is ticking…


I absolutely love this series and, after a break, I’m so glad that Detective Sam Shephard is back. In Expectant, she is heavily pregnant, so she’s officially on desk duties, but that doesn’t stop her getting involved. I love her determination and her stubborn character, and the rants she directs mostly at her boss are legendary. Her relationship with Paul and her friendship with Maggie are also wonderful and I love the banter between them and the support they give each other. 

Expectant is set in Dunedin in New Zealand. This is clearly a beautiful part of the world, but it’s not a place with which I am familiar. However, Vanda Symon takes us there effortlessly and I really enjoyed my time in this country. 

The novel begins as a slight slow burner, as Sam and her team find it difficult to find convincing leads. Despite this, I was still thoroughly engaged the whole way through, especially as the investigation is a particularly emotional one. The emotions of both the detectives and the victims strike through every page. The investigation is cleverly constructed and I loved the way everything came together. I didn’t guess who the perpetrator was until it was too late! 

There are lots of changes for the characters in this novel, but I hope this doesn’t mean that it is the end of the series as I would love to catch up with Sam in future.

Expectant is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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