Review Blog

Mar 05 2013

Web of Deceit by Katherine Howell

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Pan Macmillan, 2013. ISBN  9781742610306
(Age: Senior secondary to adult) Crime. Paramedics Jane and Alex have encountered all kinds of situations in their work and are skilled at making quick assessments. When they are called to a single vehicle accident where the driver is terrified of leaving his car, they assume he is delusional. He keeps insisting that someone is out to get him. They take him to a nearby hospital in the hope that he will receive a psychiatric evaluation. A few hours later he is found dead under a train. It might look like suicide but Jane is troubled by his earlier behaviour.
Detective Ella Marconi is allocated to investigate the case but she is hampered by her budget obsessed boss, lies and subterfuge. It would be simple to write the death off as a suicide but when the victim's boss tries to kill himself after being interviewed, detective Marconi's curiosity is piqued. The sudden disappearance of a witness further complicates the matter. She doesn't like taking shortcuts and is determined to unearth the truth, even if it means going behind her boss sometimes.
Howell is skilled at developing multiple story lines and weaving them together in a credible manner. In her personal life Jane is quietly thrilled to have a promising love interest while single father Alex is struggling with a recalcitrant teenage daughter. Detective Marconi is in the unenviable position of being romantically attracted to a doctor despite being responsible for having his father jailed for murder. When a woman is beaten and left for dead in Jane's garden and Alex's daughter goes missing the private lives of these characters intersect in a tense and thrilling conclusion.
This well written book is guaranteed to satisfy lovers of crime fiction.
Tina Cain

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