Title: Deserving Death
Author: Katherine Howell
Opening lines: ‘…In the Ambulance’s passenger seat, paramedic Tessa Kimball pretended to gag…’
Blurb: Two paramedics murdered in a month. Is it a coincidence; or the work of a serial killer? Detective Ella Marconi isn’t sure, but goes hard after her key suspects. But each turn of the case throws up more questions and entanglements, and Ella and her partner, Detective Murray Shakespeare, fight to find the truth among the lies. Meanwhile, Carly Martens – close friend of the second victim – conducts her own investigation into the murders. She’s certain that fellow paramedic Tessa Kimball is hiding something, and Carly’s refusal to let it go puts her, Tessa, and Ella into even more danger.
My thoughts: Katherine Howell is one of my TOP Aussie mystery authors and she is a ‘must buy her books as soon as they come out and then jump over the TBR queue to be read immediately’ author. Yes I think she is that good IMHO!!!
DESERVING DEATH is the seventh book in the Ella Marconi detective series and it is still as fresh and exciting as the very first one – Frantic. I always briefly worry before I open a new Katherine Howell book that maybe this book is going to be the one that doesn’t quite make it when compared to the others, it never is – it’s always amazing. Then once I have read the book I then start to worry about my review – how can I do justice to the amazing roller coaster ride that I have just been on without sounding like I am repeating myself? Well I possible can’t do it without repeating myself, but Katherine Howell writes a damn good story using her experience as a paramedic for fifteen years to bring gritty realism into her writing. When the reader is in the ambulance with the paramedics it is almost as if we are looking over their shoulders as they deal with life in the streets, and it is not always pretty. Howell’s plots are faultless with a great balance of tension, suspense and a touch of social interaction. DESERVING DEATH has a couple of sub-plots going on that link into (or maybe away from) the main story. However, the threads are gradually gathered together, with an occasional red herring, until all is revealed. I quickly found that I was unable to put the book down until I knew who was doing the killing and why!
I love the way Katherine Howell deals with her characters in both their professional and personal lives. I am a great fan of knowing what is going on in the private lives of the characters. The characters in DESERVING DEATH are as tough as they need to be professionally, be they paramedics or police. However, they each have their own vulnerabilities which Howell uses to demonstrate their humanity, which makes them more real. There are people struggling to understand why friends and colleagues have been murdered, couples trying to survive in their relationship against family opposition, and work partners struggling to work together as a cohesive team when they are totally different personalities. Each character, both major and minor, good and bad, appears in the book for a reason, not one is superfluous to the story.
I cannot recommend this book, and the whole series, enough. If you haven’t read them already then do so right now!
Rating: A – Excellent Stuff – a real page turner and hard to put down. I carved out extra reading time just so I could finish it. This book got carted into the bathroom with me, read over meals, read at work, and/or kept me up late at night. If this author has more work, I will certainly read it.
For more about the author – Click Here
Deserving Death by Katherine Howell is book # 10 for AWW2014