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Great characters. Great setting. Believable stories. Get into it!
“A crime mystery set in Brisbane, Dead Regular has a Tarantinoesque sense of humour for viscera, replacing explosive on-screen gore with highly detailed and macabre prose that feel just as in-your-face and laugh-out-loud funny. I was nervous what I was getting into picking it up, but by the end of the prologue I was in stitches, and enthralled by the offerings of creative problem solving when it came to ramping and response times. Colfer demonstrates a superb grasp of his craft, both as a writer and a paramedic. Paramedics are sure to get a tonne of value out of this one.”
Jono is a paramedic for the Brisbane ambulance service. At the beginning of the book we follow a series of seemingly unconnected call outs for the crews. However Jono begins to see a sinister pattern developing which the overworked hospital staff and uninterested police force brush aside. Apart from a cracking plot and interesting cast of characters the book is absolutely fascinating in the medical details of the cases attended by the ambulance crews. This alone sets it above other similar medical thrillers. Also, I am an avid crime reader and pride myself in guessing endings, but this one completely caught me out in the most satisfying manner. I believe that this is going to become a series and I look forward to seeing what’s next in store for the crew.
Can strongly recommend this book especially if you are a Brisbane local. I binge read until 2am as I wanted to see if I was correct in who done it – I wasn’t!
DEAD REGULAR is a novel at the forefront of a new genre — paramedic procedural. Harry Colfer (pen name) is a practising paramedic who tells the reality of life as a paramedic through fiction. He sees factual television programs such as Ambulance Australia that follow New South Wales and Queensland Ambulance Services from the Triple Zero Control Centres to paramedics on the road as heavily sanitised and not reflecting the reality of the work of paramedics in Australia. Colfer has addressed this sanitisation by portraying reality through fiction. Dead Regular is a murder mystery set in Brisbane and takes place in 2012. There is a strong sense of place in the novel with the streets of Brisbane anchoring the story. Harry Colfer is definitely an author with a winning, distinct style and one to follow closely as he writes about Jono and his crew roaring ’round and ’round, up and down, through the streets of your town. Dead Regular is a truly Australian novel.
A totally engrossing read that gets more enthralling with each new chapter. Exceptionally well written, likeable characters and a great plot. A fresh perspective of a murder mystery told from the perspective of a paramedic. Unique and surprising. Highly recommend.
Solid story with an excellent set up! Well worth the read much like the others! Only problem is it’s too short!
“I had the absolute privilege of reading an ARC of Dead Regular and I was blown away from the get-go with the truely mind blowing prologue. A huge fan of Harry Colfer’s short stories, I was super eager to read Harry’s debut novel and it did not disappoint. Harry has a remarkable way of bringing characters into full-blown three dimensional light. Certainly no flat characters here. Fully developed, Jono and his crew mates take you on a full-tilt journey not only into the world of ambos but there’s a engaging mystery/thrilling plot expertly woven in, complete with a little romance that drew me deeper into Jono’s world. I laughed. I gasped. I cringed, and I cried throughout Dead Regular. I have recommended this book, and all of Harry’s short stories, to my friends and anyone else who will listen, because Harry’s writing is cultivated, witty and truely engaging. Dead Regular was hard to put down and is a must read. I highly, highly recommend this unique novel. You won’t be disappointed. Keep up the good work Harry because you have exceptional talent. I’m hoping that movie producers have the good sense to see the potential here.”
An amazing First Novel. The characters and story are so real and vibrant, the whole package races from cover to cover faster than the ambo’s within. This redefines a page turner. The short stories are brilliant but the novel is the creme de la creme. Long live Jono
Right down my alley. Bit of black insider humor with a great look behind the scenes into the life of a paramedic, funny and clever, fast, unpredictable, a bit – how do I say this – descriptive in the medical department, believable characters and causing my family to have a few late dinners because I couldn’t put it down. Thanks Harry, get on with the next one!
Brilliantly graphic. Directed at first line responders, this fictional murder mystery is realistically humorous and empathetic. A very well written page-turner that leaves one eagerly awaiting the sequel. Can’t wait for the next book.
I really enjoyed this collection of 12 different stories featuring the ambo and his partner of the day, attending call-outs in Brisbane, Australia. Some are serious, some make you shake your head. Being in the health profession, I can honestly say – yeah, I can see it all happening, and have heard some of it before while working!! A light, humorous read with serious undertones. Recommended!
Five stars, 10/10, “very nice” (said with a Borat accent), however you want to say it this book is a great read. While a work of fiction, if you want a look into an average paramedics shift, this author nails it. The murder mystery side of the book kept me coming back obsessively until I was finished in a few short days.
I lead a busy life and it takes a very good read to sit me down and prioritise reading for leisure.
10/10 would recommend this book to anyone who wants an honest insight into “the world of paramedics” and, for those already deep in the world of paramedics, wanting a fun collection of fictitious war stories and a tale that will keep you intrigued until the very end…. and beyond.
The lay out of chapters kept the pace and story interesting, especially good for those minds who like to wonder and, when the mind does wonder, the thought provoking moral undertones of “what a life is worth”, provides a good rabbit hole to fall down.
Will be watching closely for the sequel.
Starts with a punch (not for the squeamish) and finishes with some fantastic twists. Although fictional, I am sure it provides some unique (and real) insights into the day to day experiences of our ambos. Highly recommended, great read!
As my start and finish dates might suggest, I just couldn’t put this book down! I was gifted this crime thriller novel by my partner, who works as an Australian paramedic so the roles held by the characters, as well as several of the places mentioned, were mostly already familiar to me. That said, the author’s excellent descriptive prose and his fantastic use of Australian metaphors makes it easy for any reader to enter the fictitious yet very believable world of ‘Jono’ and his professional life working for the Brisbane City Ambulance Service. Full of unexpected twists that kept me guessing right to the very end, this story made me laugh throughout and even cry on a couple of occasions – a rare feat indeed!
If you enjoy crime thrillers and you’re not averse to dark humour and medical descriptions, then you simply must put this on your reading list for 2021.
I would also strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to gain a better insight into what it is really like to work as a paramedic – this book is a far cry from the TV (so called) reality shows. Now, through my new appreciation of this role, I feel that I will be less critical of my partner when he next tells me he’s too tired to go out or mow the lawn, and more understanding when he needs his ‘cave’ time.
Harry Colfer is definitely a new author worth following. Since finishing ‘Dead Regular’, I have already downloaded from his website all of his short stories (based on the same characters), which I’m now working my way through. Loving them all – something to keep you smiling in these Covid days.
A new talent has emerged and he’s gooood! Like really, really good.
Harry Colfer would have to be one of the most talented undiscovered authors I have read to date. I’ve read every one of his short stories and can not get enough. Articulate, witty, amazingly colorful three-dimensional characters that have me laughing on every page. If you’re looking for a fun light heart read that’s informative and highly addictive you need to add this author to your library. I hear he has a novel coming out soon. I simply can not wait.
Loved every moment of the book.
Love these stories. It feels like you’re on scene with the medics.
Absolutely loved it! I purchased the book, which was promoted on a local Facebook group, earlier this year. Possibly not something I would have chosen but so glad I did as once I started it during lockdown recently I couldn’t put it down and had it read within a couple of days! Very much looking forward to the next book!
Loved this book and didn’t want to put it down. Recently ordered another copy as a gift to a Brisbane nurse working in ICU because I believe this book should be shared for it’s interesting story and flawless writing. Thank you Harry and hope your other book will be published soon.
This was a really good book with some good twists. It is the first full novel by this author (I have read some of the short stories) and is a really good achievement. Humour is built into some of the situations that arise in the book and the lead character Jono, whilst a little anti-establishment is one that you can easily warm too. Detailed insights into paramedic life are representative of the fact that the author is a paramedic himself and I suspect may characters are based on plenty of real life similar experiences of patients who don’t necessarily need an ambulance. The plot of the book is not beyond the bounds of feasibility in real life and the roller coaster ride throughout keeps you well engaged and interested and wondering what is going to happen next. As with any good book of this nature the ending is something that is hard to predict. Overall really enjoyed reading it and I look forward to the follow on book.
Ever wondered what it would be like to be a paramedic? Think you have the stomach to handle it? Need a good laugh out loud kinda book that at the same time is a riveting murder mystery? Well have a go at this one… it’s craft fully written, at times beautiful in its descriptions, downright hilarious (in black and orthodox humour) and at the same time a real page turner with a plot that rockets along as fast as the code one drives that the Ambo’s do. It’s an insiders view of the emergency world that only a few people ever really get to see. I really enjoyed this book, so much that I’ve read it twice and I can’t wait for the next installment!!
What an absolutely excellent read!! I love how true this is to the real world as a paramedic. No sugar coating, it is the real deal but with a fictional storyline. I love how each element is developed over the course of book and is revealed in a rocking finale. I’m not normally one for crime stories but this had me from the get go and I look forward to the next instalment with great excitement!!
Better than ambo TV reality shows by far!
This second collection is just as entertaining and enlightening as the first. Great ambo stories from the real front line. 👍 I much prefer this to the sanitised reality TV ambo shows. Keep up the great work Jono and Harry. These are the reason I bought, and devoured with delight, the novel DEAD REGULAR.
I bought the book to support the local community, not expecting to really enjoy it – but loved it! I normally shy away from stories based in Australia but maybe because this was set in my town, it just resonated with me. Can’t wait for the next book!
Good book, great to see life from a Ambo’s perspective.
A great read that you won’t be able to put down
Can’t wait for the next book
Great story telling
Such a great author. The writing is witty and funny and the tales interesting. I’ve read lots of Harry’s books now and love every one of them. Yes I would highly recommend his books.
What a great read. The suspense holds you right to the very end. A great portrayal of characters. Witty, funny and a page turning novel with a relatable storyline. Can’t wait to read the next one when it come out! 👍🏼
Stayed up hours past my bedtime to read “just one more chapter”. An excellent read! Great mixture of realistic ambulance call-outs giving a behind the scenes tour of working in the industry. Interesting story line with plot twists that genuinely left me guessing. Highly recommend!
From the moment I started to read this book I was utterly captivated. I loved Jono’s character and all the paramedic scenes. The twists and turns and the way the story flowed kept me engaged the whole way through. I found myself laughing out loud and re-reading parts that were so funny. The emotions towards the end felt so real that I found myself emotional too.
I loved how truly Australian this book is. Can’t wait for the sequel!!
Just finished #deadregularnovel and loved it (was up late into the early morning reading it). It is refreshing to read clever and witty prose in a magnificently twisted (in both senses) novel that is clearly well informed with an insider’s depth of knowledge of many aspects of life depicted in the novel. The references to Brisbane environs and personality quirks were delightful treats to those who can relate. The style is easy to read and brilliantly captures the quick-witted banter and sledging that is a common culture of such close, mission- critical teams. The threads of story lines were craftily weaved and ensured my responses were visceral. Harry Colfer is definitely an author with a winning, distinct style and one to follow closely. I would most definitely recommend this novel to people looking for more depth of research and difference.
The first chapter got me hooked! A great suspense novel with a relatable character lead. Loved it!
The real story… with comedy!
This here is a cracking good little read.. a funny as hell glimpse into the real life world of paramedics. Written by a clever wordsmith, who keeps it very real…. you can learn something and have a great laugh while your at it. Some serious (and definitely not so serious) paramedic jobs with a strong dose of black humour that keeps you interested and laughing as you fly through the pages. Highly recommended for anyone who wants the real inside scoop.
A book that stops the world while reading
Harry’s short stories got me back into reading, and this book just turns up to eleven. I can not wait until the next book is out
Funny, in a perverse sort of way!
I really enjoyed this story, which at times made me laugh out loud. Somewhat disconcerting though that my ambo partner said he could envisage a call-out like this actually happening. The system must be broken!
Loved reading the short stories so much, I couldn’t wait for the #deadregularnovel book to come out – loved it too! Harry Colfer is certainly an author worth following. The short stories are snippets of insight into the life, humour and coping mechanisms of paramedics and the real situations they attend – from tediously boring to heart-thumping chaos. Their length was ideal for me as I often found myself with a gap to fill in my day/night and needed something more captivating than the usual. These stories are certainly worth the read for entertainment, insight into the world of paramedics and for thought provoking ethical /moral issues (if you choose to think more deeply about the stories). I would most certainly recommend Harry Colfer’s short stories and novels if you want deeper and more detailed plots with a twist.
A fantastic read! Compelling, interesting and I enjoyed every minute of it! Love the local references as I am from Brisbane! The way Harry writes is so engaging and a page turner! Can’t wait for book 2!
What a read. Brilliant story!
Loved the sardonic humour. Look forward to reading more about ambos Jono and Scotty on the streets of Brisbane: “C’mon, let’s dance.”
This was a gripping read. The author has written an extremely powerful, knowledgeable story that has expertly gone into every character’s life situation/experience. This novel grabbed hold of me from page 1, using appropriately placed descriptions to draw the reader in like they were right there. Cannot wait for book 2!!!
I’ve read a fair few of Harry Colfer short stories and have loved every one of them. They’re fast paced and very funny. This author is talented with plenty of quick witted anecdotes. I believe his aim is to write one story per code. His stories are based on fact but presented as fiction. Harry has a real talent for description. The fact that his charters and the scenes come fully to life and in such a short read, is amazing. Great funny read.
Harry has created something very special in Jon, the wayward paramedic who suspects a serial killer is at large. I love the way his impetuous character created so much grief for him and the ingenious surprises Colfer springs on the reader are inspired and totally from left field. The whole book gave a wonderful insight into the trials, tribulations and culture of paramedics which will surprise many.
I loved this book but it isn’t for everybody. Indeed it may leave many people disappointed, primarily the creators of the various “real life” ambulance programs when the secret gets out that they’ve been promulgating a dull, sugar coated myth about life as a paramedic. If you’ve been fooled by that and need some corrective reading you absolutely cannot go past this stunning debut novel.
I’ve never been a fan of murder mysteries but I found myself having to tear myself away from Dead Regular to make the 396 pages last more than two sittings. The usual pattern of motives, suspicion and numerous red herrings meant the conclusion was both satisfying and surprising. The highly believable protagonist and cast of supporting characters are memorable enough to support a series rather than a single novel and the descriptions of Brisbane settings will ring true for any local.
What really makes this book special however is that it is a far more realistic portrayal of life as a paramedic than anything else on the page or screen. The author skewers the petty management tactics and the bureaucratic impediments that paramedics have to deal with with hilarious accuracy that justifies his use of a nom de plume. Harry Colfer’s first full length novel would be a very good first effort for a dedicated author but for an anonymous “paramedic who works in Brisbane” it’s simply outstanding. For those not averse to a little bit of gore the lasting appeal of this book will leave you keenly awaiting the sequel, as am I.
Really loved this read. Has such depth and incite into Brisbane Ambulance service but putting that aside is an exciting and all comsuming murder mystery thriller….would recommend! Looking forward to the follow up due October 2021… Beneath Contempt.
A Cracking Medical Thriller
“Jono is a paramedic for the Brisbane ambulance service. At the beginning of the book we follow a series of seemingly unconnected call outs for the crews. However Jono begins to see a sinister pattern developing which the overworked hospital staff and uninterested police force brush aside. Apart from a cracking plot and interesting cast of characters the book is absolutely fascinating in the medical details of the cases attended by the ambulance crews. This alone sets it above other similar medical thrillers. Also, I am an avid crime reader and pride myself in guessing endings, but this one completely caught me out in the most satisfying manner. I believe that this is going to become a series and I look forward to seeing what’s next in store for the crew.”
Crikey. What a way to start a book!!! As a CSI by trade I’m used to blood and guts and have dealt with my fair share of dead bodies. But the prologue of Dead Regular had my pulse racing and hands sweating like no scene I’ve ever been to!
I really enjoyed this book, I’m a fan of crime novels and it was really refreshing to read a book from a different perspective. There was enough detail to know the author was indeed a genuine “ambo” but not so much it bogged you down with irrelevant detail.
The twists and turns kept me guessing and I couldn’t put it down. Now going to go back and read all the short stories by the same author as I enjoyed his writing style so much. Will be looking out for the follow-up to Dead Regular in 2021 and will be recommending this to whoever cares to listen!
Was sad that it ended! Hoping and can’t wait for some novels!
Hilarious short stories that show real life paramedics!
You’ve gotta read these if your an Ambo, a student of paramedics or have ever just wondered “what’s it like to be an Ambo?” This is the lighter side of the job, and they are real jobs… I’ve been to many like the ones Harry describes.. but these ones are colored with such dark humour (not too dark… don’t be scared!) that you just fly through the pages and can’t wait for the next (honestly) laugh out loud installment. Highly recommended.
Loved, loved, loved this book. Characters were fabulous, plot was great. I want more…
A must read for Paramedics and frontline service workers.
As a frontline emergency worker I thoroughly enjoyed this read. Quality writing combined with an accurate insight into the humour and banter emergency services staff utilise as a coping tool to balance out the pressure related troughs and peaks of the job. Everyone has a different perception of what constitutes an emergency and this is beautifully illustrated in the readings. Will recommend to colleagues – thanks for brightening the day!
Couldn’t stop laughing!
I was introduced to this collection by a book club friend who works as a paramedic – she reckons these stories give a really realistic depiction of what the job actually entails, albeit in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. For me, as a non-clinician, the medical details provided were ample to immerse me in the pre-hospital world, yet regaled without unnecessary complexity or arrogance. At no point did I feel disconnected, though the descriptions of some scenes made me squirm. I also found that I was able to relate to other aspects of these stories, especially autocratic management, dysfunctional bureaucracy and the need to deal with people from all walks of life. However, it was the unpredictable endings that kept me turning the pages, along with a healthy dollop of dark humour. I loved never knowing where these stories were going to take me. I recommend them for anyone who’s interested in ‘emergency’ work and wants to read something different from the standard offerings.