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.Although this is the sixth book in an eight book series, this is only the third book by Howell that I have read. I read the first two books, Frantic and The Darkest Hour. Detective Ella Marconi is the main character in the series but each book also features a paramedic who gets involved with a crime, and the case that Marconi is working on intersects in some way with the issues in the paramedic's life. In this book, we have two paramedics featured: Alex, a single father of a teenage daughter who recently was involved in a traumatic episode at work, and Jane, his partner, who is in a troubled relationship with a married man.
In some ways, this is a typical thriller. Some of the characters end up doing very stupid things that lead to problems in their lives, and the connections between various plot threads and the ending strains belief. But the story keeps the reader (at least this one) engaged, and it is easy to get involved and suspend disbelief. Although this is primarily a police procedural, I enjoy the elements of the story that follow the paramedics in their jobs and in their off hours.
Web of Deceit is the first Ella Marconi mystery published in the US. The publisher, Minotaur Books, provided me with my copy and I was very grateful. I have found it difficult to get copies of Katherine Howell's books here. I hope they will be publishing more of her books.
I did not have any problem reading the 6th book in the series without having read the three books that went before. Based on Ella's relationship with Dr. Callum McLennan in this book, some events have happened in her life that I missed by not reading books 3 - 5, but enough background detail is included. Many reviewers of this series of novels have commented that the books can be read as standalone novels, and I agree. Especially with the addition of a new paramedic each book, each story works alone very well.
See other reviews:
- Web Of Deceit received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly
- Shellyrae's review at Book'd Out
- Kerrie's review at Mysteries in Paradise
- Bernadette's review at Fair Dinkum Crime
Publisher: Minotaur Books, 2015 (orig. pub. 2013)
Length: 347 pages
Series: Ella Marconi #6
Setting: Sydney, Australia
Genre: Police procedural
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.