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The Darkest Hour

(Detective Ella Marconi #2)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  270 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Paramedic Lauren Yates stumbles into a world of trouble the night she discovers a dead man in an inner city alley, for the killer still lurks nearby. When the murderer threatens to make her life hell if she tells the police, she believes him – he's Miles Werner, her sister's ex and father to Lauren's niece... and a very bad man indeed.

But when a stabbing victim t
Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Published 2008 by Pan MacMillan Australia
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  270 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This genre, if it could be called a genre, is shaping up to be my new favourite, I think. I’m loving all the books written by Australian women writers. This one is no exception. Written by an ex-paramedic, this story is full of suspense and a little romance. Number two in the series, Detective Ella Marconi is a single woman who is great at what she does, but I sense that she’s usually second to the action of the particular story. What I like about this series is its’ contemporary nature, the sto ...more
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Paramedic Lauren Yates finds herself working on her own one night when a man comes bolting through an alley in the heart of Sydney. Lauren goes to investigate and finds the body of a convicted paedophile. Further down the alley Lauren will come in contact with another person, but this person is not dead and she knows him from her past. He is Thomas Werner who is Lauren's sister's ex-boyfriend and the father of her niece. He knocks her to the ground and warns her not to say nothing if she wants t ...more
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Darkest Hour is book two in the Detective Ella Marconi series by Katherine Howell. Detective Ella Marconi was on secondment to homicide and Ella was hoping it would become permanent. Detective Ella Marconi needed a good case to help her to achieve her dream and Ella got her wish. One night Paramedic Lauren Yates pass caught up with her when she and her partner Joe Vandermeer heard the dying deceleration of one there patients. The readers of The Darkest Hour will continue to follow the twist ...more
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-authors
Paramedic Lauren Yates was working alone one night in the middle of Sydney, when a man ran from an alley directly in front of her ambulance. Jamming on the brakes, coffee going everywhere, she succeeded in avoiding him. When a second man followed, seemingly in a panicked state, she stopped, shaky from fright, to see what was going on. What she found horrified her... the dead body of a well known paedophile! Hearing noises, she investigated, and came across a person from her nightmares... Thomas ...more
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Adjusting well to this Aussie writer and liking her slant on police procedurals, mainly through the eyes of a paramedic.

The series looks at a case from two different points of view, both of which are leaning towards each other: police detective and the paramedic. Well written with twists and turns, inner emotions and angst culminating in an intense final chapter.

The book also left me needing one more wrap up chapter, which I am guessing will be covered in the next book.

The story this time revolv
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oh yes - that was good! I think I read most of that in one sitting - I kept thinking I really should be doing something else but who cares! I find myself really caring about what happens to both Lauren and Ella. I am constantly amazed by the incredible situations in which Lauren finds herself as a paramedic but must believe them since the author is writing from her own experiences. Amazing.
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Opening Sentence: “… The wind howled between the buildings like a creature from an artic nightmare as Lauren peered into the wreck, then turned to the cop beside her.’He’s dead’...”
Whenever an author’s debut book is as top notch as FRANTIC was – I always panic when I pick up their second. The expectations are always high; the reality is that sometimes those expectations don’t follow through.

Well, Katherine Howell has managed to do it again with her follow up book THE DARKEST HOUR. The investigat
I really enjoyed this crime thriller set in Sydney, in which Detective Ella Marconi returns in her second effort to gain a permanent job with the Homicide Squad. Much of the story is a fairly straightforward police procedural novel, well plotted with lots of intriguing clues. The element that enlivens this story is the perspective provided by the ambulance officers, whose personal stories and adventures on the job are intertwined with those of the detectives.
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
This is the second book in the Detective Ella Marconi series. I started reading this as soon as I finished book 1. It is another fast paced crime thriller, this time involving illegal drugs. The narrative is again split between police and paramedics, though it is a different paramedic to the first book. I empathised more with Ella and the police in this book, but I also liked the paramedic view.
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read in the Ella Marconi series. Paramedic Lauren covers up for the perpetrator of a crime in an effort to keep her family safe from his threats. But the danger increases and she has to trust Ella to close the case before she herself is killed.

Exciting and well plotted, this will keep you turning pages to the end.
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Not as good as Frantic, but still a good book nonetheless.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love this series, good story line love the two main characters Joe and Lauren, Joe needs to ditch his girlfriend don't like her one bit! If you haven't read any of this series do yourself a favour you won't be disappointed.
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What I like about this story is it's set in Australia, written by an Australian author who doesn't resort to perpetuating foreign stereotypes of Australia.

No-one says cobber, struth or g'day. The characters aren't all borderline alcoholics. It's just a good story.
Nov 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: bought
Not my favourite Howell book but kept me reading until the end, having said that the end of the book doesn't seem to finish as nicely as I like.
Oct 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Since finishing THE DARKEST HOUR I've been trying to think of another author who uses such an unusual protagonist's viewpoint of violent crime. I can't, which simply could be my aging brain, or it could be that Howell is looking at violence from an angle that not many have first hand experience of.

THE DARKEST HOUR is Katherine Howell's second book - the first - FRANTIC - was a tremendous debut and she's followed up with another tight, taut and suspenseful book, using parallel viewpoints which al
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
3.5 stars
The Darkest Hour is the second novel written by ex paramedic Katherine Howell. The book features Detective Ella Marconi who returns from the first book written by Howell, Frantic. The Darkest Hour features two parallel storylines, events unfold from both a police procedural point of view through the eyes of Detective Ella Marconi and simultaneously through the eyes of paramedic Lauren Yates. The book opens when paramedic Lauren stumbles upon a murder victim in a dark, back alley. It app
Jill Smith
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it

Lauren Yates is a busy paramedic, trying to hang on to her job. Alone in her ambulance she stumbles across a stabbing victim in a lonely back street and calls for back up. What she doesn’t tell the police or her colleagues is that the murderer was there too, he’s her sister’s psychotic ex Thomas Werner, who threatens her life along with her sister and niece. She goes on with life thinking no one will know and she’s safe, that is, until she’s called to another stabbing, the victim yells out ‘Thom
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
In the second Ella Marconi book, paramedic Lauren Yates finds herself alone in an alley helping a man that she knows all too well, Miles Werner. A man she knows to be angry, hateful, deceitful, and most of all, dangerous. All the while, another man lays dead in the same alley. When she begins to help Miles he threatens her life, her sister’s life and the life of her niece, Mile’s own daughter.

Terrified of Werner’s threats, she lies to Detective Ella Marconi, to her sister and to her partner and
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this sequel to Katherine Howell's first novel "Frantic" very much. It was a fast paced read which kept me engaged to the end.

Lauren is a paramedic who one dark night out working on her own came across a murder victim in a back alley. Hiding in the shadows she sees a man she recognises as her sister's ex-husband, Thomas Werner, who they believed had returned to his home in Austria. He threatens Lauren that if she says he a word about him to police, he will harm her sister and her littl
This was an interesting read - a real page-turner which follows a paramedic threatened by a man from her past and also follows the investigation from the detectives’ point of view. It’s the second in the Detective Ella Marconi series. The first one I listened to as an audiobook, and didn’t really like the narrator’s accent (although I have listened to her narrate other books which I’ve enjoyed - go figure!) which had put me off continuing with the series. But reading this book rather than listen ...more
Dec 22, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm really enjoying this series, which take place in Australia...told from two points of view. First there is Paramedic Lauren Yates, whose past catches up with her. Then there is Detective Ella Marconi, wanting to solve a murder case to prove that she belongs in Homicide. There a lot of characters in this book, a lot of twists and turns. But Howell manages to keep it all in order, making for a great book, good plot...and anticipation for the next book in the series.
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this second book in the series. I like the paramedic slant to the police procedural. While part of me wishes Howell had given a bit more information on some of the loose ends in the previous book as well as this one, part of me thinks the series is stronger for not having everything tied up in a neat bow. However, if doesn't stop me from feeling slightly frustrated and wanting answers. Hopefully, she answers my questions in the next book.
Sandy Vaile
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a complex plot that kept me rivotted the whole way through. I loved the sexual tension between the ambulance partners in the first half of the story, but it disappeared in the second half and I was dissatisfied with the ambiguous ending of the relationship.

Katherine's emergency services background showed in the excellent details of ambulance and police procedure, but the real enjoyment of this story was the suspense and well-rounded characters.
Kirsty Cochrane
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the series and an interesting read. I really enjoy the details that are offered from both the paramedics and the detectives point of view and find that switching the character in focus keeps me intrigued more than having one character narrate the book. Looking forward to the third.
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one night - I just couldn't put it down. A police procedural intertwined with a paramedic ambulance drama set in Sydney. Non-stop action, multi-level, interesting and intricate plot, great three-dimensional and realistic characters and subject matter that is is well-researched and comes from life experience by Katherine Howell, a former paramedic herself. Great read!
Charmaine Clancy
Nov 05, 2012 rated it liked it
A good story, liked the paramedic's story, didn't quite get into Ella, but I'll read more. It often takes me more than one book to warm to a main character. The action sections were well paced and sometimes a bit scary (in a good way).
Feb 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Excellent suspense, I worry that Katherine's book always have a corrupt cop scenario. It cannot be true, I hope it is not true. I will definitly be asking that question when I meet kathreine on 24th at Gold Coast QLD Aust.
May 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Even better than the first one with so many characters to tie together - awesome writing, can't wait to start the next one.
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great story lines in this series....never a dull moment.
Jul 21, 2009 rated it liked it
It was ok, I suppose. Not bad, but not great. Maybe I was expecting too much, because the reviews were really good.
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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

Other books in the series

Detective Ella Marconi (8 books)
  • Frantic (Detective Ella Marconi, #1)
  • Cold Justice (Detective Ella Marconi, #3)
  • Violent Exposure (Detective Ella Marconi #4)
  • Silent Fear (Detective Ella Marconi, #5)
  • Web of Deceit (Detective Ella Marconi #6)
  • Deserving Death (Detective Ella Marconi, #7)
  • Tell the Truth (Detective Ella Marconi, #8)