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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reading Notes : The Darkest Hour by Katherine Howell

The Darkest Hour (pub. Macmillan Australia) is the follow up to Katherine Howell’s superb debut thriller Frantic (if you haven’t read Frantic yet then…well…you should).

Returning is homicide detective Ella Marconi but she is one half of this dual protagonist story.

Like Frantic, The Darkest Hour also features a paramedic and focuses a large portion of the story on the desperate emergencies handled by ambulance crew. Again, the ambulance station at the centre of the story is located at The Rocks in Sydney. Howell’s expertise as a former paramedic is used to great advantage with the procedure and dialogue firing off with crisp rapidity.

Lauren Yates is a paramedic who is used to dealing with emergencies and stressful situations on a daily basis. But she is faced with a sickening dilemma that could end with her losing her job...or far worse.

Ella Marconi has recently been appointed to Homicide and is desperate to prove that she is a solid detective, capable in her new role.

The stabbing of a man in broad daylight at Edgecliff (near Sydney's inner city) is going to bring both women together. The victim knew his assailant and gives Lauren the man's name in the ambulance as they are rushing to the hospital. Lauren's dilemma begins because she recognises the name of a man she knows to be a vicious killer and, even worse, he knows her. Telling Ella the name of the man could ensure his capture - but it could also put her and her family in grave danger.

This is novel that exudes strength as a quality crime thriller. It blends hectic emergency action with some turbulent emotional and personal issues. The tough veneers of both lead women will look a little vulnerable at different parts of the book.

It's an involving story set in and around the centre of Sydney and is a strong follow up to Frantic.
The release date of The Darkest Hour is 1 May, 2008.


Kerrie said...

I'm looking forward to reading this

Damien said...

Hope you enjoy it when you get to it, Kerrie. Katherine has done very well.