This morning, as part of its daily book review slot on the Nine to Noon programme, Radio New Zealand addressed modern-day Kiwi crime queen Vanda Symon's latest Sam Shephard thriller, CONTAINMENT.
One of the great things about the Nine to Noon show, hosted by Kathryn Ryan - who also regularly does interviews with New Zealand and visiting authors, is that they do semi-regularly cover some crime and thriller titles.
Today the reviewer was fellow blogger Graham "Bookman" Beattie, who is (deservedly) highly-regarded in the New Zealand book industry. He is the former head of Penguin Books, a Book Awards judge, and a Books Editor.
"This is a 300+ page cracker of a contemporary crime fiction novel set in and around Dunedin," says the Bookman. "A compelling whodunnit with all the usual twists and turns so loved by readers of the crime fiction genre... Detective Constable Sam Shephard is one of those wonderfully drawn but comparatively few women protagonists in this genre... and in many ways she reminds me of Sara Paretsky’s Chicago-based V.I.Warshawski and Sue Grafton’s California-based Kinsey Millhone. These three women are all characters that I like immensely, high achieving, determined, sassy and feisty women... they are all quite stubborn and often infuriating as well with their frequently chaotic personal lives."
You can listen to the Bookman's full review of CONTAINMENT here, or you can read the text of the radio review on his fantastic blog here (you might have to scroll down). Hopefully positive reviews like this one (from someone well-known and respected in the NZ Books industry) will help more Kiwis, and others, realise that with writers like Vanda Symon and her excellent heroine Sam Shephard, there are plenty of reasons to read NZ 'popular fiction', as well as the literary stuff.
Have you read CONTAINMENT? Vanda Symon's earlier Sam Shephard books? What do you think? What do you think of the Bookman's review?