Web of Deceit.
Click here to read the first chapter.
When paramedics Jane and Alex encounter a man refusing to get out of his crashed car, with bystanders saying he deliberately drove into a pole, it looks like a desperate cry for help. His frantic claim that someone is out to get him adds to their thinking that he is delusional.
Later that day he is found dead under a train in what might be a suicide, but Jane is no longer so sure: she remembers the terror in his eyes.
Detective Ella Marconi shares Jane's doubts, which are only compounded when the case becomes increasingly tangled. The victim's boss tries to commit suicide when being questioned, a witness flees their attempt to interview her, and then to confuse matters further, a woman is beaten unconscious in front of Jane's house and Alex's daughter goes missing.
Ella is at a loss to know how all these clues add up, and feels the investigation is being held back by her budget-focused boss. Then, just when she thinks she's closing in on the right person, a shocking turn of events puts more people in danger and might just see the killer slip through her hands.
"Howell blends fast-paced thriller with a sympathetic look at the private lives of single dad Alex, divorcee Jane and Ella, who's madly in love with a man whose father she sent to jail. The personal and the criminal seem like two very different stories, but are they? Web of Deceit is indeed tangled, until it begins to unravel at high speed."
Leila McKinnon, Australian Women's Weekly.
"This is a ripper. It’s well written, entertaining and attention grabbing from go to whoa and I honestly couldn’t wait to get back to it every night."
"action aplenty, snappy dialogue, vivid paramedical detail and insight into the female heart . . . Howell will lose no fans with this one"
"Web of Deceit, the sixth book by ex-paramedic Katherine Howell featuring Detective Ella Marconi, continues to build a solid, clever police-procedural series with an ongoing paramedic viewpoint, an element that seems even stronger in this book. ... Katherine Howell’s first book, Frantic, arrived full of promise and every single book in the Ella Marconi series since has delivered on that promise, and upped the expectations a little bit more. Web of Deceit reminds me, yet again, how good the best Australian crime fiction has become."
Newtown Review of Books.
"Howell has few equals when it comes to the consistency of her intricate plots that manage never to stray into ridiculous territory while gripping the reader from the outset and not letting go until the final page. ... It’s a fast, clever, sometimes sad, sometimes funny romp of a tale. Highly recommended." Fair Dinkum Crime.
Web Of Deceit was shortlisted in the 2013 Ned Kelly Award for Best Fiction. The judges said:
"Katherine Howell’s series of police procedurals with a paramedic twist continues to impress with a cracking addition to the series. At its core is a great mystery replete with red herrings, the tension ratcheted up by frustrated detectives and strange goings on. The two paramedic B-stories, usually a distraction, work well in this case and come together in a surprising way that doesn’t feel forced."
"Howell delivers yet another superbly paced and plotted procedural in this tale of a peculiar death that has its origins in events 20 years earlier."