>Vanda Symon, The Ringmaster (2008)


(German title: Der ungeschminkte Tod. My review of Overkill).

Well, I read the second Sam Shephard mystery from New Zealand in German, but I was afraid that if I only gave you the German title, you would not read my review.

“Rosie, warte!” rief er und beschleunigte seine Schritte. Sie drehte sich um, und mit genugtuung stellte er fest, dass ihr Gesicht anfing zu strahlen, als sie ihn erkannte.

Detective Constable Sam Shephard, who now works in Dunedin, and her colleague, Smithy, are trying to disperse a group of people who demonstrate in front of a circus. Soon, the department have more important things to care about, however, as they find the body of a young woman who has been assaulted and drowned in the river Leith which runs through the Botanic Garden.

But as Sam has offended her superior, DI Johns, quite successfully, she is sent off to deal with the less interesting circus case while everybody else works on the murder. As she is a stubborn and determined woman, and perhaps a bit impulsive, she does her best to worm her way into the murder investigation. New trouble hits the circus, though, and whether Sam wants to or not, she gets deeply involved in the affairs of the circus before she can return to the murder of young Rose-Marie Bateman. and at some time she begins to wonder if the occurrences in the circus are related to the murder.

I enjoyed the story just as much as Vanda´s terrific debut, especially for the character of Sam, a female protagonist of the very best kind. A slight minus, though, because Sam has a tendency to run into dramatic situations on her own. It was not as difficult to read it in German as I had expected, but I won´t pretend I understood each and every detail, and I certainly won´t admit how long it took me to read it in German.

I bought the German e-book myself (because the English version is very difficult to come by), and fortunately I have the next volumes ready on my shelf – in English. 

Craig´s review of The Ringmaster (Crime Watch).

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in New Zealand, review, review 2011, Vanda Symon. Bookmark the permalink.

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