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Ratings and Book Reviews (1 8 star ratings
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4.3 out of 5
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    A great crime read from the south of the south

    Of the many admirable aspects of Symon’s storytelling, chief is her creation of Sam Shepherd, a protagonist you want to follow; headstrong, passionate, and flawed. A talented detective, but not infallible. Shepherd puts herself out there, cares, makes mistakes, and has real emotions; fear, jealousy, anger, sadness. She’s human, real, and well-rounded. Symon shows a talent for creating rounded characters throughout, from Shepherd’s friend Maggie, the ‘voice of reason’, to nemesis characters such as DI Johns and circus owner Terry Bennett. Symon ensures that even the antagonists ring true; they have good points as well as bad, and have understandable motives for their objectionable behaviour. Another impressive facet is her use of the Dunedin setting. From the opening murder beside the Leith, to Highlanders games, and student life, Symon brings alive this southern city. The Ringmaster is a great read. Symon populates a good story with great characters, and unique touches in a distinctly Kiwi setting.
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