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Publisher's Summary

On a searing summer's day paramedic Holly Garland rushes to an emergency to find a man collapsed with a bullet wound in the back of his head, CPR being performed by two bystanders, and her long-estranged brother, Seth, watching it all unfold. Seth claims to be the dying man’s best friend, but Holly knows better than to believe anything he says and fears that his reappearance will reveal the bleak secrets of her past.
Detective Ella Marconi suspects Seth too, but she’s also sure the dead man’s wife is lying, and the deceased’s boss seems just too helpful. But then a shocking double homicide makes Ella realise that her investigations are both getting closer to the killer and increasing the risk of an even higher body count.
©2012 Katherine Howell (P)2012 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Gretchen SLP on 11-22-15

Australian Murder Mystery Extraordinaire

If you could sum up Silent Fear in three words, what would they be?

Aussie Women Unite!(A second, though wordier, subtitle might be: Don't Be Fooled By the Unfortunate Title; There's Nothing Silent OR Fearful About Detective Ella Marconi!!)

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Katherine Howell, who clearly knows from both personal and vicarious experience both the life of a paramedic AND the life of a police investigator, expertly creates and gradually but steadily ratchets up palpable tension as she interweaves the stories and perspectives of two very different women, one who is skilled at keeping dark secrets and one who is skilled at uncovering and unraveling the secrets of others. Ultimately these two unique female characters will prove equally strong as they team up to solve a baffling series of murders...although to say more would spoil a succession of twists and surprises sure to satisfy even the avid mystery reader who thinks s/he has seen it all!

What does Caroline Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Caroline Lee is the reason I first found this book; after hearing her amazingly expressive performance of Liane Moriarty's stellar "Big Little Lies," I was inspired to look up her other work, which led me to Katherine Howell.

I will now be eagerly reading all the other books in this series, especially if they are narrated by Caroline Lee.

A note to any American listener who finds unusual or unfamiliar pronunciations overly distracting: You might be dismayed by a few apparent Aussie-isms such as "ashfelt"/asphalt and "turnikay"/tourniquet. Try to get past that, and just enjoy seeing Australia through the eyes of some of its most inspiring contemporary fictional heroines.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely yes! I purchased the iBook too and downloaded it on my phone and iPad so I could read the print version whenever I couldn't be listening to the audiobook. I finished the last 20 chapters today, on my one day off!!

In my experience, somewhere between 80-95% of all muder mysteries are chock full of bad writing, unbelievable coincidences, implausible characters and circumstances, and above all, overly tidy endings (or endings full of unanswered questions and loose ends) that leave the reader feeling as if s/he has just wasted 10-20 hours on, essentially, a bunch of smoke and mirrors. This is that rare mystery at once flawlessly written, believably plotted, and agonizingly human and real.

While there are several laugh out loud moments, the scene in the Emergency Room will leave you gaping (and wanting to replay it for anyone you know who thinks women are intrinsically weaker than men)...and the scene where paramedic Holly finally tells Ella the truth about her past will leave you in tears.

This book is highly cinematic in its imagery and characterizations, and would make a terrific movie!

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6 of 8 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Kathleen on 08-28-12

A DetectiveElla Marconi book.

Holly, a paramedic, is called to an emergency situation where a man is said to be in cardiac arrest, but Holly soon realizes he has been shot. She also realizes that volunteers who are supposedly providing CPR may in fact be putting him in even more danger of dying of a broken neck. To make matters worse, the man’s best friend turns out to be her estranged brother, whom she hasn’t seen for 12 years. Also, one of the cops who shows up because the victim was shot, is someone who knew her in her past when she was a drug addict and a prostitute. All of this is far behind her now, but this cop is intent upon blackmailing her for the past. The main protagonist is Detective Ella Marconi. Ella will need to determine who killed the victim, and who killed other related victims who seem to be connected to the first murder. She has in her squad a particularly awful cop who is into sexual harassment, and the other cops just expect her to live with it. This is a good book which in addition to having a spellbinding plot also shows how hard it still is for females in male-dominated professions, like paramedics and cops. Quite good.

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1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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