Monday, November 30, 2009

Vanda Symon's CONTAINMENT - Radio New Zealand reading and author interview

As I noted recently, modern-day Kiwi crime queen Vanda Symon's third Sam Shephard novel, CONTAINMENT, was launched in Dunedin last week. I understand fellow southern crime writers Liam McIlvanney and Paddy Richardson were in attendance amongst a good crowd at the University Book Shop.

Dunedin-based Symon was interviewed on Radio New Zealand's Arts on Sunday show by host Lynn Freeman yesterday. The interesting ten-minute interview, in which Symon discusses the new book, and what goes into her intriguing protagonist, amongst many other things, also includes a short reading from CONTAINMENT. You can listen to an audio file of the interview here.

In CONTAINMENT, Sam is training as a detective at Dunedin Central when she’s assigned to investigate what seems to be a routine diving accident off the Otago coast. But the forensics reveal that the man didn’t die from drowning; and that the body was stuffed in its wetsuit after death. Perhaps there is a connection with another case Sam is involved with – citizens of Dunedin pillaging the wreckage of a container ship at the entrance to Otago Harbour?

Those in Australia or New Zealand can read my feature "The Stroppy Crime Fighter", based upon my interview with Vanda Symon, in the November issue of Good Reading magazine. Vanda spoke with me about a number of things, including creating a memorable heroine, juggling motherhood and storytelling, and life imitating art. Online subscribers worldwide can also read that feature via the Good Reading website.

Have you read CONTAINMENT? Any of Symon's earlier books? What do you think? Is she a writer you enjoy, or if you haven't yet read her, a writer you want to try?

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