Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Frantic by Katherine Howell

Genre: Crime Suspense-Thriller
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 282

In one terrible moment, paramedic Sophie Phillips's 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, a consequence of her own actions.

While Chris is in hospital and the police, led by Detective Ella Marconi, mobilise to find their colleague's child, Sophie's desperation compels her to search for Lachlan herself. She enlists her husband's partner, Angus Arendson, in the hunt for her son, but will the history they share and her raw maternal instinct lead to an even greater tragedy? - book jacket

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 narrative moves from the perspective of mother Sophie, father Chris and investigating officer Detective Ella Marconi, contributing to the feverish pace while still allowing for plot development. The stresses of Sophie's job as a paramedic really come through on the page and I found her emotions throughout the story compelling and entirely relatable. The distress, guilt, panic, the rash decisions & horrifying consequences all worked to show the very believable lengths a mother will go to for her child.

Hold your breath and hang on tight for this read!!

I will definitely be tracking down this author's next work, The Darkest Hour published 2008 and waiting on Cold Justice, due for Australian release in Feb 2010.

Katherine Howell is a former ambulance officer and her first published work, Frantic won the 2008 Davitt Award for best crime novel by an Australian author. To learn more about this author and her work visit http://www.katherinehowell.com/

This month on The Eclectic Reader you could win Blood Promise by Richelle Mead OR Destined For An Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost OR The Other Tudors by Philippa Jones. Check this blog post for details. International entrants welcome.


  1. WOW this one sounds like a suspense that even I would enjoy!

  2. This sounds like a great read, thanks for the great review!
    Big Hugs, Bethxx

  3. My heart was racing just reading the synopsis. Definitely a good thriller. I would love to read this one.

  4. I love these kinds of books..thanks for the review!

  5. I want on this heart pounding ride!! From your descriptions this is a book that I will love for sure!! Great review!

  6. Alaine ~ I do think you'd love it, heart in your mouth but no gratuitous violence or gore (well not much anyway lol)

    Staci ~ borrowed this one from the library, otherwise I'd send it to you, but I'm going to look into buying Katherine's novels :-)

    Viv ~ I know it's available in the UK, as is her next novel, The Darkest Hour. I'll have to check US availability

  7. If the book is half as exciting as your review it's a winner! It's going on my list right now!

  8. Sounds great, but maybe a little too intense for me.

  9. Wow you make it sound so good =) I'll have to check this one out!

  10. Thanks for bringing Katherine Howell to my attention - this story sounds perfect for my sister who loves thrillers.

  11. Wow. Great Review.
    I'm going to try getting my hands on this one

  12. Boy, this one sure sounds good!

  13. I enjoyed this one, too. If you're interested, my review is here.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  14. Wow this sounds like a fabulous book! I love thrillers and this one definetely sounds like one I'd enjoy. Great review!

  15. Amazing Review!

    Though not my usual book genre (Intense thriller makes me a little nervous, don't know why) but sounds good so I'll read it.

  16. Sounds like a really good thriller! I think I'd enjoy this. :)

  17. Hi Teddyree:

    This book sounds right up my ally. I love a good thriller and my background is medical so this as well is appealing.

    Thank you for the review and the giveaway!!


  18. Sounds like an exciting read, I read a lot of suspense and thrillers, in fact, I went through a period where I wanted to read were thrillers.

    Some of my favorites are James Patterson, Robin Burcell, John Sandford, Patricia Cornwell, and Karin Slaughter.

    Thanks for a great review!

    Dottie :)

  19. Wow--sounds like an exciting, emotion-charged story that would be hard to put down! I'd love to win!

  20. Thank you for this excellent review. Frantic sounds like a page turner and one I plan to read soon!

  21. I think I have never read any book of Aussie Authors. Both of English or translation copy. But I'm looking forward for the chance.

    What a tragic story. She must be a strong woman. I wonder how she can move on after all those sad things happened.

    The cover reveals the story very well. At least from the synopsis.


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