Friday, January 21, 2011

Author event: launch of BOUND, Vanda Symon's new Sam Shephard book

Last week I was fortunate enough to get an advance review copy of a terrific new book that comes out in a couple of weeks; BOUND by Vanda Symon. Now, since I stumbled over THE RINGMASTER in the Papatoetoe Library in late 2008, I've been a fan of Symon's Sam Shephard novels. However, that wouldn't stop be saying if I didn't think the latest was up to scratch (eg I liked CONTAINMENT, the third in the series, and thought it was a very good novel that lots of people would enjoy, but for me I didn't think it was quite as good as OVERKILL and THE RINGMASTER, which were excellent).

So, I was curious to see how I would feel about BOUND: would it maintain the high standards of the overall series - the personality-packed characters and narrative, the visual storytelling and nice touches of humour amidst the mystery - or like some other ongoing series that started so well (cough, Patricia Cornwell, Linda Fairstein, Kathy Reichs) would it show signs of beginning to fall into a bit of a ho-hum pattern where what made the series special is worn away over time and some reader start bandying about words like 'formulaic'?

I can't say too much here, as I will be writing a newspaper/magazine review and feature about Symon and BOUND in the very near future (which will of course be shared with you all here on Crime Watch) - but I will say that I read the book in a little over 24 hours, that I was hooked and completely engaged by the characters and the storyline the whole way through, and that in my opinion, as good as I thought OVERKILL and THE RINGMASTER were, BOUND is the best book in the series thusfar.

My advice? Go and buy this book. If you've already tried the Sam Shephard series, I'd be astonished if you didn't love BOUND. If you haven't yet had the pleasure, then now's a great time to start.

And for those of you living in or visiting the lower part of the South Island, Vanda Symon, her publishers Penguin, and the University Book Shop have invited all Crime Watch readers to the official launch party for BOUND, at 6pm on Wednesday 2 February 2011. See the image for further details. RSVP to

Comments welcome.


  1. Craig - Oh, I'm so glad to get your feedback on this one. I figured that it would be terrific, but still, it's great to hear!

  2. My favourite is Containment, but so is Overkill … and I enjoyed The Ringmaster. Bound sounds like another great read. Looking forward to it.

  3. I think I just felt that CONTAINMENT wasn't quite as good plot-wise as the first two (splitting hairs here - they're all very good/great crime novels), although it was excellent in many other ways. In BOUND, I think Symon has really struck a great balance between lots of interesting character stuff, as well as a very good, twisting plotline. Plenty of personality in the writing too, which I love.