Vanda Symon’s Sam Shephard series is fast gaining international acknowledgement, and it’s no surprise readers will engage with her newest, Containment.

Young detective Sam finds herself called out on an early Sunday to Aramoana, where the New Zealand coast has snagged a ship that’s become marooned on an angle, strewing some of its containers in the water, while others have been beached. An elderly woman has found a skull in the sands, too. What else could go wrong?

It only takes one group of young men to breach the seal on the metal container nearest them, and soon masses descend on the area, scavenging for the containers’ contents. It’s while Sma’s trying to control a pair of looters fighting over a carton that one of them punches her lights out. As she goes down for the count, Sam sees the older of the two men go after the younger and tackle him.

Only the older man has dealt the younger enough blows to land him in the hospital, and after Sam safes his life in the ambulance where she’s accompanying him for stitches and to be checked for a concussion, things go further downhill and don’t add up. Now her would-be rescuer is in trouble for coming to Sam’s defense, as the younger man who beat Sam up hovers between life and death.

The trail for the recovery of contents takes time, and then the body of a diver is pulled from the sea, and there’s a connection between this dead young man with the pilferage.

The confusion mounts as much as Sam’s personal life. It’s a perfect storm of the setting, great character development and a gripping plot that makes Containment one readers won’t be able to put down.