Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Frantic: Katherine Howell
Frantic (2007) by Katherine Howell is the first in a series of six books, set in Sydney, Australia. There are two main characters per book (roughly, as I understand it from reviews). The detective, Ella Marconi, is a constant throughout the series. The second character in each book is a paramedic, and that character changes from book to book. I think this is a very clever strategy, because it allows for variety and spices up the mix of characters. I will see as I continue reading this series.
I was lucky when I started reading this book. It was a day that I could read all day (very unusual in my life). I was immediately hooked in by the story and the characters, and I did finish the book in one day. And enjoyed it very much.
The title of the book describes the pace of the book. This could be a criticism, but I found that the pace and the excitement level in the story kept me reading and I did not want to put the book down.
The book centers around the story of one paramedic and some events that happen to her family (her husband and child). The paramedic is Sophie Phillips and she and her husband Chris are experiencing marital problems. I am not going to go into much more detail than that regarding the plot. In the course of the paramedic's work, the emergency events are very fast paced and I felt the urgency of each rescue attempt.
Ella Marconi, the detective, is an interesting character but does seem to be in the background in this book. She is frustrated in her job (sounds familiar for detectives) and feels she has been passed over for plum assignments in the past. I will be interested in seeing how she develops in future books in the series.
A small (very small) quibble. I did get irritated with the married couple, because both assumed they knew what the other was thinking (wrongly) and made bad decisions based on this. I know this is a common plot device to keep a story interesting, but it is a pet peeve of mine. I also did not find this book to give me much sense of Sydney, the city in which they are based. That, however, is not a criticism from my point of view, just a comment in case that is specifically what the reader is looking for.
The author "worked as a paramedic for fifteen years and uses that experience in her books," per her website. The page on that site about this book has a sample chapter and some interesting comments on how the series started.
Please see these reviews...
at Ms. Wordopolis Reads and All the Books I Can Read (lots more detail at this one).