One of those books is BOUND, the fourth Sam Shephard tale by Dunedin-based crime writer Vanda Symon. Our own modern Kiwi crime queen, and part of a growing Otago cadre of crime writers (alongside Paddy Richardson, Liam McIlvanney, and now Andrew Porteous), Symon looks to have put Shephard in all sorts of strife once again. And I can't wait to read it.
The cover for BOUND was publicised by Symon and Graham Beattie recently, and I've got to say that in my opinion it's one of the very best book covers for a New Zealand crime novel I've seen; striking, eye-catching, and evocative. While we've had some very talented writers here for a while, some of our New Zealand crime novel covers have been a little, well, 'blah', which is a shame. Not that you should judge a book by its cover, of course.
Here's the back-cover blurb:
"A brutal home invasion shocks the nation. A man is murdered, his wife bound, gagged and left to watch.
But when Detective Sam Shephard scratches the surface, the victim, a successful businessman, is not all he seems to be. And when the evidence points to two of Dunedin's most hated criminals, the case seems cut and dried... until the body count starts to rise.
Meanwhile, Sam is in big trouble again…"
You can read an extract of BOUND here, or by clicking on the book cover above. The book is due for release in New Zealand and Australia on 31 January.
Have you read any of Vanda Symon's crime novels? Are you looking forward to BOUND? What do you think of Sam Shephard as a character? Of Dunedin as a setting? Thoughts and comments appreciated.