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Two female paramedics murdered in a month. Is it coincidence, or are they victims of a serial killer? Detective Ella Marconi isn't sure, but goes hard after her key suspects, including police officer John Morris. But each turn of the case throws up more questions and entanglements, and Ella and her partner, Detective Murray Shakespeare, struggle to find the truth among the lies.
Ella also attempts to balance work and her relationship with Dr Callum McLennan, which is both growing both stronger and more difficult as they face Callum's mother's disapproval and the anniversary of his cousin's murder. Meanwhile, Carly Martens - paramedic and close friend of the second victim - conducts her own investigation. She's certain that her fellow paramedic Tessa Kimball is hiding something, and her refusal to let it go puts her, Tessa, and even Ella into more danger than Carly could ever imagine.
Detective Ella Marconi returns in this thrilling case, set against the dangerous background of drug deals, police corruption and deadly consequences.
Deserving Death is Katherine's seventh book, which she finds difficult to believe. "Seven expeditions with Ella, seven groupings of paramedics, and at least seven murders. It's quite a collection!
"I got the initial idea for the book when my partner and I were flying from Los Angeles to New York in 2012. It was the first Saturday after the 4th July, so lots of towns and cities were celebrating, which meant that as we flew through the darkness we looked down on countless fireworks displays, one after another, right across the country. I sat spellbound with my face pressed against the cold window while at the same time my mind wandered through blood and guts and bad bad deeds. Suddenly the thought popped up. What if it was paramedics who were getting killed? I pulled out my notebook (never go anywhere without it) and started scribbling. Who died, who did it, and why? It always starts there, then expands outwards in all directions. I kept thinking as we got off the flight and caught a cab into the city (and that first view is something I'll never forget), and by the time we were standing on East 42nd Street to eat a 2 am hot dog in a shower of rain, I had the basis worked out."
"Deserving Death was a revealing and tense read, and the cause of a Very Late Night Staying Up Just To Finish One cough Twelve More Chapters. This is a book full of smart and powerful women, and the men who feel inadequate when confronted by them. Exactly the right kind of crime novel to throw us screaming into 2014." Readings Bookshop.
"In Deserving Death we have great storytelling, assured and clever crime fiction. Not just concentrating on the central crime, the novel tackles a range of current issues, and it does that subtly, very cleverly and in a way that can’t help but stay with readers."
Newtown Review of Books.
"Howell writes with great insight into human behaviour, and the characters wrestle with challenges that the reader will relate to. More than just a great crime story, this is also a story with heart."
Good Reading Magazine.