5 April 2011
Review: COLD JUSTICE, Katherine Howell
Source: my TBR
A teenage girl stumbles across the body of her classmate, Tim Pieters, hidden amongst the bushes. His family is devastated, the killer is never found.
Eighteen years later, political pressure sees the murder investigation reopened. Detective Ella Marconi tracks down Georgie Riley, the student who found the body, and who is now a paramedic. Georgie seems to be telling the truth, so then why does Ella receive an anonymous phone call insisting that Georgie knows more? And is it mere coincidence that her ambulance partner, Freya, also went to the same high school?
Paramedic Georgie Riley and Detective Ella Marconi are travelling similar paths, returning to work after traumatic incidents that resulted in hospitalisation and being off work for some months. As a result both are under scrutiny. Georgie has been transferred from the country to the ambulance station at The Rocks in Sydney. She will undergo assessment to see if she can manage the job. She is staggered to see that her assessing partner is Freya, her best friend from high school. Georgie hopes she has left some of the problems she had at the country station behind her, and it seems she has, until she sees a familiar face in the crowd.
Ella Marconi is returning to work after a gunshot wound, and has been assigned to the Unsolved Cases unit. Technology has advanced since Tim Pieters was murdered in 1990 and items from his file have been sent off for DNA testing. Ella too is hoping that some of the demons of her past don't surface, but both her parents and her boyfriend Wayne are anxious that she may have returned to work too soo. Ella is determined to prove she has what it takes.
In COLD JUSTICE Australian author Katherine Howell has used a formula similar to the one she used successfully in both THE DARKEST HOUR, and her debut novel FRANTIC (see mini-review below): parallel plots that advance in tandem, each generating their own sense of suspense. The link between the two plots is Detective Ella Marconi. Again the paramedic characters are new, while Marconi provides the common thread from one novel to the next.
My rating: 4.8
I am very much looking forward to reading the next in the series: VIOLENT EXPOSURE - it is already on my TBR shelves.
Mini-review of FRANTIC (rating 5.0)
FRANTIC is Katherine Howell's debut in writing and well worth your attention. Set in Sydney. Sophie Phillips is a paramedic whose husband Chris is a police officer who was assaulted recently. Their son Lachlan is still a baby. Their lives are very busy because Sophie often works nights. Marriage-wise things have not been going so well lately and Chris and Sophie don't seem to be talking much. And then Chris is shot in the head on the doorstep of their house and Lachlan is abducted. The action ramps up quickly and events spiral to a catharsis that I didn't even see coming. I found myself holding my breath and thinking "she's not really doing that!".
Katherine Howell's website
I am listing COLD JUSTICE in the Aussie Author Challenge