The Darkest Hour
Paramedic Lauren Yates stumbles into a world of trouble the night she discovers a killer and his victim in an inner Sydney alley. When the killer threatens to make her life hell if she tells the police what she’s seen, she believes him – he’s Thomas Werner, her sister’s violent ex, father to Lauren’s niece, and not a man to cross.
But when another victim of a stabbing reveals to Lauren with his dying breath that Werner attacked him, too, she finds herself with blood on her hands and Detective Ella Marconi on her back. Ella is keen to cement her temporary placement in the homicide squad and views Lauren as the perfect witness for this latest murder because she can testify to the victim’s last words.
Ella soon realises Lauren is hiding something, however, and while her colleagues label her suspicion an obsession, she begins her own investigation. But the harder Ella pushes, the more Lauren resists, and the worse the threat from Werner becomes, putting them both in increasingly serious jeopardy.
Read the first chapter . . .
The Darkest Hour was released in Australia in 2008, and since then has been published in Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands. Katherine says, 'The Darkest Hour was originally going to be called Panic, and I occasionally still get emails from readers who've seen mentions of that on the web and worry they've missed a book. The first chapter was printed under that title in the back of Frantic when it was first released, but later developments in the rewriting meant that that it no longer was the best fit.
'I feel a special fondness for this book. I took about six years to write Frantic then had just one to write this, so it was a real test to hold my nerve, believe I could do it, and just keep working. Also, I didn’t realise how much the release of Frantic and the accompanying promotional activities would distract me (though I loved every minute of it – who wouldn’t?), and in the end I had to get extensions on my deadline. To finally hand it in and get good reports was wonderful, and it was possibly even more thrilling to hold a 'real live' copy of it than it was with Frantic.'
“As with Frantic, I galloped through this book with my heart racing. Howell may have left the ambulance service but she can still drive a narrative at full speed with the sirens blaring. Pass me the oxygen, someone.” Sydney Morning Herald
“A finely paced and engrossing second novel by this talented Australian writer” The Guardian (UK)
“Author Katherine Howell is a former Sydney paramedic and is set to do for that profession what US author Patricia Cornwell did for forensic pathologists.” Barking and Dagenham Recorder (UK)
“Howell’s second crime novel featuring Sydney detective Ella Marconi ... races along at a tearing pace; the author’s insights into a job fuelled by adrenaline are authentic and suggest that this is going to be an original and exciting series of novels.” The Sunday Times (UK)