I’ve discovered a little something about myself – much to my surprise, I quite like crime fiction.
Up until now, I thought that the few crime novels that I’d read and enjoyed had been a bit of a fluke. I read Kathryn Fox’s Cold Grave last year and loved it, and earlier, thoroughly enjoyed The Siren’s Sting, by Miranda Darling. I thought they must just have been particularly good examples of the genre. I’ve since read others, and enjoyed them equally.
And now, I’ve just finished reading Web of Deceit, by Katherine Howell (Pan Macmillan) and found myself unable to put it down, I was enthralled by the mystery and entertained by the action. I couldn’t wait for the truth to be revealed…
So on reflection, I think it’s fair to say that a pattern has emerged. I really like crime fiction, and in particular those that have a ‘speciality’ to which the author can write authentically from personal, professional experience. In this case, Katherine Howell is a former paramedic and brings to the story all the drama, trauma and heroism that the work of a paramedic involves.
Web of Deceit is the latest in the Ella Marconi series…
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 cry for help. His 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 a woman is beaten unconscious in front of Jane’s house.
Ella is at a loss to know how all these clues add up and then a shocking turn of events puts even more people in danger…
Howell’s novel twists and turns relentlessly, leaving the reader guessing right up until the very end. It’s not only unclear who is guilty for these crimes, but it’s also uncertain until the close, just who is going to be the hero of the hour.
There’s romantic relationships and personal conflicts, all of which allow the reader a chance to get inside the head of the fantastic characters in this story. These relationships; lover to lover, father to daughter, ex-wife to new wife, are all handled brilliantly – creating interest, diversion and introducing additional complexity to the already complicated scenario unfolding around the characters of Alex, Jane, Ella and Murray.
There’s plethora of clues to gather and assess and in keeping with the formula of many a quality crime story, Detective Marconi is not only pushing against time to solve this puzzle, but also against her penny-pinching, clock-watching boss. The reader is kept wondering – will his lack of commitment to solving this mystery cost Ella the chance to prove that Marco was a victim of foal play? Will Ella have the back-up required to make sure that she too doesn’t become a victim of this web of deceit? It’ll have you on tenterhooks.
You can enjoy an excerpt of Katherine’s novel on Pan Macmillan blog’s here.
I really enjoyed this book, I’ll be adding the previous Katherine Howell titles to my collection. If you’d like to find out more about Katherine and her books, you can visit her website.
Have you ever been surprised to find that you quite liked a particular genre, perhaps one you’d dismissed in the past?
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