From the PR: “When the body of a young mother is found washed up on the banks of the Mataura River, a small rural community is rocked by her tragic suicide.
But all is not what it seems. Sam Shephard, sole-charge police constable in Mataura, soon discovers the death was no suicide and has to face the realisation that there is a killer in town.
To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover. When Sam finds herself on the list of suspects and suspended from duty, she must cast aside her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands. To find the murderer … and clear her name. A taut, atmospheric and page-turning thriller.”
You know, when I sit down to compose these reviews I often struggle with how to start. An overview? A powerful quote? An insight into the author’s life…
Not so with Overkill, no – I know exactly where to start with this little beauty: the beginning. That beginning. Holy crap. I’ve read a fair old chunk of thrillers and a modest village’s library’s worth of fiction and it’s true; the beginning of a book is key – if you can’t hook a reader in the first few page (I disagree with the three word rule, though) why would they take it to the till and read further? The opening prologue of Overkill is one of the most gripping and devastatingly affective I’ve ever read. I can’t think of another book that’s hit me so hard in its first few pages.
After that I had to read on. I couldn’t not. I needed to keep going and I dare anyone to read the prologue and feel otherwise.
It’s not only the beginning though – Overkill delivers on its opening promise in spades. It’s massively addictive and beautifully written; Vanda Symon writes in a style more akin to literary fiction prose and has a real gift.
I tore through this one in a few hits of late night, adrenaline fuelled sittings. Sam Shepard is a great character and I loved the setting and it’s always a joy to discover writers from and stories set in countries I’d not yet ventured and I genuinely look forward to more in the series.
In Overkill Vanda Symon has written something very special: an intense and powerful thriller told with a combination of prose and narrative that elevates her novel head and shoulders above the pack and makes it a serious contender for one of the year’s best reads.
My thanks to Orenda Books for my copy of Overkill and Anne Cater for asking me to take part in the BlogTour.