Katherine Howell


  • Cold Justice (2010), a rather cleverly worked crime novel that drops hints along the way in the approved manner and delivers the denoument in a flurry at the end. It's a very good read, and has resulted in Howell's other three Ella Marconi titles going on the Watch out for these list.

Georgie Daniels is coming off personal and professional issues in an ambulance station in rural New South Wales, has been temporarily relocated to The Rocks and is facing an appraisement that could terminate her career. The responsibility of writing the assessment has been handed to Freya Craig, coincidentally her best friend from high school days, though she'd disappeared shortly after Georgie found the body of fellow student, Tim Pieters, hidden amongst bushes, in a murder case that remained unsolved for close to twenty years. 

The case, however, has been reopened after political pressure. Tim's cousin is now a State MP on the Government side and the cold case is assigned to Detective Ella Marconi, who's coming off a wounding in the course of duty and carefully works back over the details of the case and anonymous tipsters throw in suggestions the girl who found the body knows more than she's letting on.

Actually, most of those involved know more than they're letting on, and while the reader's aware that this is the case Howell keeps the actual details well veiled until the rush that unravels the mystery at the end. 

  • Web of Deceit (2013), where paramedics Jane and Alex treat a man refusing to get out of his car at the scene of a minor accident, and come across his body a couple of hours later under the wheels of a train at Sydney’s Town Hall. That’s where they run across Detective Ella Marconi and explain that financial advisor Marko Meixner, who’d blamed the incident on a stalker was obviously terrified and possibly affected by a psychiatric disorder. All they’d been able to do at the time was deliver him to hospital, notify the Outpatients staff of their concerns and continue on their way.

When Ella and her partner Murray set out to investigate the circumstances surrounding the apparent suicide Marko's boss attempts to hang himself while they’re asking questions in the office, a witness flees an attempt to interview her, a woman is beaten unconscious in front of paramedic Jane's house and single parent Alex's teenage daughter goes missing. With Ella and Murray’s boss watching the overtime expenditure and counting the pennies he’d prefer a quick closure of the case, but as the plot develops everyone involved has their own issues to complicate things. 

Victim Marko had a drinking problem before meeting his wife, who’s the daughter of an abusive alcoholic, pregnant and the subject of a stalker’s attention. He was also the key witness in a murder trial a decade earlier, and the man he helped put away is now out on parole. Jane has issues with her ex-husband’s wife, who’s convinced she’s trying to get back together with the ex (she isn’t, she’s got a new secret boyfriend, who turns out to be married), Alex has to deal with PTSD and the circumstances surrounding his daughter’s disappearance, Ella’s getting the cold shoulder from the doctor she fancies, and ends up giving it back, and there are issues surrounding the prime suspect’s parole, alibis and whereabouts as the investigation proceeds.

Another cracker that has Katherine Howell getting very close to buy everything else status ($9.99 at iTunes, so they wouldn’t be taking up shelf space).

Investigate availability of:

Frantic (2007)

The Darkest Hour (2008)

Violent Exposure (2011)

Silent Fear (2012)

© Ian Hughes 2012