Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Last Kiss – Louise Phillips

Crime Fiction 5*'s
Crime Fiction
5*’s

Dr Kate Phillips is a psychologist who works with the Irish Police force assisting by providing profiles of suspects. If you like Criminal Minds, this series is so much better!

The introduction grabs you by the throat as it details a teenage girl giving birth to her baby in the wood.  What happens within the first three pages is haunting and sets the chilling scene for the rest of the book.

In the present day an art dealer is found dead, brutally stabbed to death in a hotel room, his body arranged to mirror the Hangman from the tarot cards. Detective Mark Lynch is revelling in his position in charge when he calls Kate in to help out and she begins reading the crime scene examining it for insights into the killer’s mind.

I love Louise Phillips writing which switches between characters; we hear from a married woman devastated to find evidence on her husband’s computer which indicates that he is having an affair. She seeks the assistance of her close friends but becomes more afraid when items in her house are moved about. Kate Pearson gives us updates on the progression of the investigation while the killer is also allowed a voice which gives the reader clues about their identity but also the opportunity to see how good Kate is at her job.

In this book we have the contrast in life between rural Ireland, the more cosmopolitan Dublin and then the continent where Kate and DI O’Connor fly off to Paris to examine the death of a man involved in S&M. The distinction between the opulence of the dead man’s hotel room vying with that first scene as well as the artistic devices used by the killer to capture the right image both of herself and her victim are powerful in bringing the visual aspect to the written word.

I loved both the previous books in this series Red Ribbons and The Doll’s House and this book easily matches these two, and maybe even surpasses them in terms of the depth and complexity of the plot. This is a dark book with the inclusion of the S&M and Tarot cards so that when the killer and their motives are unmasked, it left me with a feeling of profound sadness, as if this were all somehow more than just fiction.

A big thank you to Louise Phillips for my copy of this book which was delivered to me via her publisher, Hachette, in return for my honest review. If this sounds like something you would enjoy it is released on  7 August 2014 – yes today!

Louise Phillips On Her Inspiration for Last Kiss

‘On a cold January day in 1984, Ann Lovett, aged fifteen, having started labour, took a detour to the local graveyard instead of returning to school. She laboured for hours in the rain. Ann and her baby died that day. Last Kiss is not the story of Ann Lovett or her son. Nonetheless the story stayed with me. A question arose in my mind. What would happen if a baby survived the death of their mother and in the context of this fictional story was reared by someone evil?
In writing Last Kiss, the theme of nature versus nurture, good versus evil, fascinated me. The fictional killer I created pushed my boundaries as a writer, and I hope you agree it was a story worth telling.’

Although I don’t think reading the series in order is necessary, this book would work perfectly well as a stand-alone, there is a story arc in relation to Kate Pearson and her private life as well as insight into the key Police Officers in charge that would enhance your enjoyment of this book.

Read my reviews of her debut novel, Red Ribbons and second in the series The Dolls House by clicking on the covers below.

Red Ribbons

 
The Doll's House

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (August 6)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Last Kiss by Louise Phillips, the third in the Dr Kate Pearson series. This probably isn’t one for the faint hearted but I am really enjoying it.

Last Kiss

Blurb

In a quiet suburb, a woman desperately clings to her sanity as a shadowy presence moves objects around her home.
In a hotel room across the city, an art dealer with a dubious sexual past is found butchered, his body arranged to mimic the Hangman card from the Tarot deck.
But what connects them?
When criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson is brought in to help investigate the murder, she finds herself plunged into a web of sexual power and evil which spreads from Dublin to Paris, and then to Rome.
Will Kate discover the identity of the killer before it’s too late to protect the innocent? But what separates the innocent from the guilty when the sins of the past can never be forgotten. Goodreads

I recently finished The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell which is a story that spans 70 years.

Click on the cover to read my review

The Girl Next Door

Next I plan to read Daughter by Jane Shemilt which is another book which concerns secrets and lies.  I love the music box on the cover with the ballerina in it.

Daughter

Blurb

Jenny loves her three teenage children and her husband, Ted, a celebrated neurosurgeon. She loves the way that, as a family, they always know each other’s problems and don’t keep secrets from each other.
But when her youngest child, fifteen-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play and a nationwide search for her begins, secrets previously kept from Jenny are revealed.
Naomi has vanished, leaving her family broken and her mother desperately searching for answers. But the traces Naomi’s left behind reveal a very different girl to the one Jenny thought she’d raised. And the more she looks the more she learns that everyone she trusted has been keeping secrets.
How well does she really know her sons, her husband? How well did she know Naomi? If Jenny is going to find her, she’ll have to first uncover the truth about the daughter she thought told her everything. NetGalley

What are you reading this week? Please share with me!

Posted in Weekly Posts

Teaser Tuesday (August 5)

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

• Open to a random page

• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to

My Teaser this week is from Last Kiss by Louise Phillips

Last Kiss

Blurb

In a quiet suburb, a woman desperately clings to her sanity as a shadowy presence moves objects around her home.
In a hotel room across the city, an art dealer with a dubious sexual past is found butchered, his body arranged to mimic the Hangman card from the Tarot deck.
But what connects them?
When criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson is brought in to help investigate the murder, she finds herself plunged into a web of sexual power and evil which spreads from Dublin to Paris, and then to Rome.
Will Kate discover the identity of the killer before it’s too late to protect the innocent? But what separates the innocent from the guilty when the sins of the past can never be forgotten. Goodreads

My Teaser

‘We’ll be confiscating your lipsticks along with the whip’
‘What all of them?’
‘It is a murder investigation.’ He smiled.

Please leave the link to your teasers in the comments below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (July 18)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

After last weeks extravagant amount of Friday Finds this edition is much more restrained.

My kind friend had to go to the last book sale by herself as I was on holiday but she bought me a copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (AKA J.K. Rowling) because she knew I’d been on the look-out for this one.

The Cuckoo's Calling

Blurb

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.
Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.
You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this. Goodreads

From NetGalley I have a copy of Trust in Me by Sophie McKenzie whose novel, Close My Eyes sat on my wishlist but was never purchased.

Trust in Me

Blurb

Julia has always been the friend that Livy turns to when life is difficult. United fifteen years ago by grief at the brutal murder of Livy’s sister, Kara, they’ve always told each other everything.
Or so Livy thought.
So when Julia is found dead in her home, Livy cannot come to terms with the news that she chose to end her own life. The Julia that Livy knew was vibrant and vivacious, a far cry from the selfish neurotic that her family seem determined to paint her as.
Troubled by doubt but alone in her suspicions, Livy sets out to prove that Julia was in fact murdered. But little does she realise that digging into her best friend’s private life will cause her to question everything she thought she knew about Julia. And the truth that Livy discovers will tear the very fabric of her own life apart. NetGalley

I also have a review copy on the way from the author of Last Kiss; Louise Phillips. I read both her debut, Red Ribbons , and the follow-up The Doll’s House last year.

Last Kiss
Blurb

Saundra Neville’s husband is having an affair. The other woman wants her life, following her like a shadow, moving objects around her home, playing mind games to push her over the edge. But who does the killer really have in her sights? Meanwhile, criminal psychologist Dr. Kate Pearson and Detective Inspector O’Connor are brought in to investigate the vicious murder of businessman Rick Shevlin, who was tied up and butchered in a Dublin hotel room. They soon find themselves plunged into an investigation which spreads across Europe. Will they find the killer before Saundra discovers a truth far deadlier than anyone can imagine? Goodreads

Lastly something for my wishlist, due to be published 9 September 2014 The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. Poirot meets Sophie Hannah, this I must read!

The Monogram Murders

Blurb

‘I’m a dead woman, or I shall be soon…’
Hercule Poirot’s quiet supper in a London coffeehouse is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified – but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.
Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London Hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim…Goodreads

So what have you found this week?