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Frantic (Detective Ella Marconi #1)
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Frantic (Detective Ella Marconi #1)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  252 ratings  ·  62 reviews
In one terrible moment, paramedic Sophie Phillips’ life is ripped apart – her police officer husband, Chris, is shot on their doorstep and their ten-month-old son, Lachlan, is abducted from his bed. Suspicion surrounds Chris as he is tainted with police corruption, but Sophie believes the attack is much more personal – and the perpetrator far more dangerous...

While Chris i
Paperback, 362 pages
Published 2007 by Pan Macmillan Australia
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Sophie Phillips is a paramedic and her husband Chris is a police officer. They both lead extremely busy lives and a lot of times Sophie finds herself having to work nights. The one thing they both love and enjoy is coming home to their ten month old son Lachlan. With the stress from their jobs both Sophie and Chris have been having a few problems in their marriage and things between the two of them have been strained.

Sophie world is turned upside down when she receives news that Chris has been s
Sophie Phillips is a paramedic, her husband Chris is a police officer, and they have a beautiful son, ten month old Lachlan. Together with Mick, her partner, they do the night shift around Sydney, covering the Rocks, the Quay and more. But things haven’t been going too well with Sophie and Chris, ever since he was attacked a couple of months ago, while apprehending a suspect with his partner, Angus. He appears extremely stressed, and they suspect PTSD, but when Sophie, and Chris’ mother, Gloria, ...more
This is probably more a 3.5, than a 3 - but not quite a 4 (for reasons explained at end).

Not having read a lot of Australian crime fiction, I was excited to discover a new author and her first novel Frantic did not disappoint. Right from the beginning I was drawn into the storyline and really felt the terror of Paramedic Sophie when she discovers that not only has her policeman husband been shot, but her 10 month old son Lachlan has been kidnapped.

The pace of Frantic is great - it is quite fast
Jul 28, 2009 Sheree rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves suspense!
4.5 stars
Wow this is certainly one book that lives up to its title. Frantic is the pace of this novel and my racing heart as I galloped through the story with my heart in my mouth, unable to turn the pages fast enough. What an awesome debut novel by Australian author Katherine Howell.

Katherine obviously writes what she knows and loves, taking the reader on an intense and realistic ride. I Loved the paramedic work references, the Sydney setting and the characters, particularly Sophie. The narrati
What an absorbing debut novel by Katherine Howell and the book was aptly titled as it provided non-stop frantic action from start to finish. Although this is the first book in what has become known as the Detective Ella Marconi series, this book focuses mainly upon ambulance paramedic, Sophie Phillips. Sophie is married to a policeman, is the mother of an infant son and spends her working life attending ambulance emergencies in Sydney. The paramedic angle to a crime fiction book is a great idea, ...more
This is Katherine Howell's first published book and it's a winner. Written from the viewpoint of a paramedic (which Ms. Howell was before her writing career took off), makes for a good and different slant on a mystery book. Eventhough this book is the first in her Detective Ella Marconi series, the detective shares center stage with a female paramedic.

The basic premise is fraud, murder, and kidnapping - right up my alley. I enjoyed this book on a few different levels - the characters, the settin
Stevie Carroll
I borrowed this from the library on the strength of some good reviews, and the twin enticements of a paramedic protagonist and the Australian setting. Sadly I didn't get on with any of the main characters, and felt that the plot hinged too much on people acting illogically and failing to talk to each other in situations that would have been cleared up quickly by a little conversation.
Celia Conrad
I recently joined the Aussie Readers Group here on Goodreads and came across Katherine Howell, the author, when I was scanning through the Groups book list.

Frantic is the first novel in the Ella Marconi detective series. I think that Katherine has an excellent writing style and she clearly knows her subject when it comes to writing medical jargon having come from a medical background herself and working as a paramedic.

What was immediately apparent to me though was that although the series is ab
Jill Smith
Katherine explained at a writers meeting I attended, that she had taken six years to write her first novel only to have it rejected. When she got it back, she researched the best ways to make a reader get involved with the story was to create suspense, and make the reader care what happened to the main characters. She re-wrote the book and this is the nail biting result.

Sophie Phillips is an ambulance driver, and her husband Chris is a policeman, they have a beautiful baby son Lachlan. Sophie is
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
I grabbed Frantic from my pile of library books, since I'd just gotten an overdue notice (though now I can renew my loans online - how cool is that!) and took it with me to read during my children's swimming lessons. I'm glad the swimming center has lifeguards because I was soon engrossed in the frantic pace (pun intended) of this novel by Katherine Howell.
My interest in this book was initially based on the fact that the main character in this psychological thriller is a female ambulance officer
Kathleen Hagen
Frantic, by Katherine Howell, a-minus, narrated by Caroline Lee, produced by Bolinda Audio, downloaded from

Sophie Phillips is an ambulance driver who loves her job, the constant crises, and she’s good at the job. Her husband, Chris, is a police officer. Chris had been shot a couple of months earlier. He had survived but had some residual internal head injuries which kept him depressed and angry. They had a littleson, Lachlan, the center of both their worlds and the reason they were
Number two (after Kathryn Fox) in the Random Aussie Crime fiction I didn't know existed and have been missing.

You don't realise, at first, that the new detective introduced by KAtherine Howell is in fact Ella Marconi. You'd think it was, in fact, the paramedic, Sophie. But the continuing character is Marconi, and having reached the end of this book, I'm really, really looking forward to reading more about Ella.

In concert with beginning the stories of Anya Crichton through the books of Kathryn
Graham Crawford
I have read this series completely out of order, which changes how I think about this first Emma Marconi book. I really didn't like this one, and if I have read it first I probably would have left the rest on the shelf. She gets much better, tighter, and characters in future books are far less irritating than those in this debut. Certainly the melodrama gets turned down in latter books - so she is a writer who learns from her mistakes.

Apart from Marconi - all the other characters in "Frantic" ar
Carol Preston
In one terrible moment, paramedic Sophie Phillips’ life is ripped apart – her police officer husband, Chris, is shot on their doorstep and their ten-month-old son, Lachlan, is abducted from his bed. Suspicion surrounds Chris as he is tainted with police corruption, but Sophie believes the attack is much more personal – and the perpetrator far more dangerous...
This is the first in a series of crime novels by Katherine Howell, in which Detective Ella Marconi, stars. I found this story gripping - a
Jenni Boyd
I know I read this book out of order by reading the third one first, but Katherine Howell did not disappoint me. I really like her character of Detective Ella Marconi, a woman who is not only struggling to be accepted in the male dominated world of homicide, but despite the tough exterior she tries to portray, she is a woman who has heart, one who allows guilt to creep in after questioning a man for information, who is later silenced.
It will take you on a heart wrenching journey of a mother, a p
Every bit as good as promised by other readers. The whole series will be a certain read.
The Crime Scene Scene
Frantic is the first novel in the Detective Ella Marconi series by author Katherine Howell. Detective Ella Marconi is called to investigate when paramedic Sophie Phillips life is turned upside down after her police officer husband is shot and her son is kidnapped. A suspect who threatened the paramedic is immediately identified but the case may also link to a group of corrupt officers.

Just like the novel's title this book picks up at a fair old pace and doesn't let goRead the full review here
Wow – what a great debut thriller – this was a real page turner for me the suspense was unrelenting.
Sophie Phillips is a paramedic in Sydney, Australia. Not only is her work high stress with a non-stop pace – but her home life is just as busy with a baby boy and policeman husband, Chris
The book opens right in the middle of the action – a bank robbery, the seventh, in a series has occurred and a guard is down. Sophie and her partner Mick are called to attend but are unable to save the guard. Almo
Bree T
Sophie is a paramedic and her husband a city police officer. As a gang of bank robbers terrorise the city and taunt the police force’s inability to capture them, Chris faces pressure from the public, sensitive to their scrutiny. Now there’s some suspicion that there are police involved within the gang after a phone call to the media. When Chris is found shot in the head on the doorstep of their home and their 10 month old son Lachlan missing, Sophie’s life is ripped apart.

Both she and Chris beli
Diana Hockley
I like Katherine Howell's novels and especially enjoy the technical details of the paramedic's work. Howell always brings angst into the lives of her protagonists and this story is no exception.

However, I did NOT like Sophie, the main character, although I did like Ella Marconi, a constant character in Howell's novels.

Sophie is an paramedic with a secret and a marriage which appears to be in trouble. Her husband will not talk to her about what is worrying her and a rumour of corruption surroundi
Sophie Phillips is a paramedic and her husband Chris is a cop. When Sophie and her paramedic partner are called to a premature labour case, the results of the early labour are tragic, and despite Sophie and Mick being very sure they have done the right thing, the baby's father - Boyd Sawyer is grief stricken and irrational - and he goes out of his way to threaten Sophie and Mick. Meanwhile Sophie and Chris's previously happy marriage has been fading recently. Chris was badly assaulted during a r ...more
Jill Smith
I read this fantastic book in two days, apologies to Katherine for not updating this sooner. Full book review to come. Suffice to say as a suspense story it's got the reader, hook, line and sinker.
At a recent Gold Coast Writers meeting Katherine explained that she had taken six years to write her first novel only to have it rejected. When she got it back, she researched the best ways to make a reader get involved with the story was to create suspense, and make the reader care what ha
As a Brissie girl, I had to read a new author from my hometown. Ella is a complex character who I look forwards to seeing develop. The story itself is rich and deep in experience, with a strong female cast who show there is no easy ride. Definately worth reading and keeping for another read later.
To be honest, I am stunned with the 3.77 average rating which this book has received. I thought it was the most average crime novel which I have ever read. It was like Paramedics 101 meets Detective Work 101. It was such a cliche. The writing was bad. The characters were one dimensional. Ella Marconi was annoying, and not in an interesting way. The actions of Sophie were ridiculous in the circumstances. The premise of this book had so much promise, but was so underdone. As the mother of 2 small ...more
Linda Camus
I have only just discovered this author and can't wait to read more of her work. I read her 2nd book before this one and decided to read the whole series. The book is set in Sydney and features police and paramedics. Has an unusual twist at the end that I didn't see coming, loved it
Michael Fuery
In her first crime fiction novel, ‘Frantic’, Katherine Howell tells the story of a paramedic whose life is suddenly derailed by a shadowy criminal world and introduces her protagonist, Detective Ella Marconi, whose investigations she will follow through her writing.

The legacy of Howell's substantial career as a paramedic-on-the-street is obviously displayed in her rich narrative which takes on a life of its own. The plot is exciting, uniquely Australian and genuinely shocking.

Sydney is well-desc
A wife who's a paramedic and a husband who's a police officer, you know it's going to be a good book. Loved the storyline and couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see if they got their son back.
For a first detective story, this is good. Howell worked as a paramedic so her insight into that world is great. Always good to find an Aussie writer writing locally, though this is set in Sydney.
David Crosby
I read this following author Tom Reynolds recommendation on his blog. This is ex-paramedic Katherine's first novel and an excellent debut it is too. It seemed light on character depth at first but this was more than made up for by the pace of the storytelling. We are led through the mystery at breakneck speed from the viewpoint of many major characters, clever. There is no guessing the ending, it is revealed in a final headlong rush, one that will have you staying up too late just to see what ha ...more
I enjoyed reading a book that takes place in Australia. I enjoyed the storyline and my suspicious were confirmed when the suspect became obvious. I found the poor hard done by husband very overdone and I didn't even like him until the last few pages. I enjoyed the different elements of the story woven in together and felt that was well done. I found many of the actions that the characters took were illogical and almost ridiculous and think much could have been done if people had worked together, ...more
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Katherine Howell worked as a paramedic for fifteen years while completing her Bachelor and Masters degrees in creative writing. Her first novel, Frantic, was published in 2007 by Pan Macmillan and set a paramedic alongside Sydney police detective Ella Marconi in 'an adrenaline rush of a thriller' (Sydney Morning Herald). It won the 2008 Davitt award for best crime fiction. Her second book, The Dar ...more
More about Katherine Howell...
Cold Justice (Detective Ella Marconi #3) The Darkest Hour (Detective Ella Marconi #2) Violent Exposure (Detective Ella Marconi #4) Silent Fear (Detective Ella Marconi, #5) Web of Deceit

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