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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 24 star ratings
4 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.1 out of 5
24
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
9 11 2 1 1

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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Thriller with a difference

    First time I’ve read a thriller set in New Zealand. Enjoyed it and the suspense was kept up well and the motive for the killing was certainly a different and unexpected twist. Good to have a woman as the main character. Recommended.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Terrific rural noir with a great main character

    Fans of high quality crime fiction won’t be disappointed by this New Zealand fare. Symon wastes no time, immediately stunning readers with an opening-pages haymaker. Who knew the tiny farming town of Mataura could harbour such evil? Soon after, stroppy sole-charge rural cop Sam Shephard finds herself co-ordinating the search for the missing mother, her ex-lover’s wife. Once a body is found, she is left tidying up then investigating the looks-like-suicide drowning. The case is complicated by stroppy Sam’s frequent clashes with authority, her unclear relationship with her ex, and the public and colleagues finger of blame beginning to creep her way. Sam soon feels like a pariah, and finds herself right in the manure (literally in one case) amongst the salt-of-the-earth citizens of small-town Southland. Overkill is an excellent first novel from a highly talented storyteller. Symon nicely balances action, character and story in a well-drawn rural setting, and realistically speckles the book with light-hearted moments and humour throughout. Symon drops Sam right in it and the reader can’t help but be taken along for the ride, willingly and wonderfully.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Over told and under edited

    The hundred or so times I nearly decided to abandon the book were always the tell, tell, tell. I’m amazed the book was published in this state. The author and editor(s) constantly told us what had already been shown. They didn’t trust the reader. Readers don’t need to be told a character is upset if we already know that from the context. Readers don’t need explanations for a character’s feelings when the plot has already made it plain. Why did I keep reading? Because many ‘reviews’ claim this is a great book and a great series. And I also want to see what editors and publishers think is a ‘great’ book and worthy of publication. On the strength of this book and a few other examples recently, it is quite clear the standard required for publication has become rather low.
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    Pacy story but ...

    This is a fast paced ever changing story and the main character, Sam Shephard, is a likeable and feisty young woman. But is she stupid or is she stupid? Her actions throughout are impetuous and unlikely, and it's hard to see how she would be allowed to remain in the police after some of what she does.
24

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