Well finally it is time to post my last review from my holiday reads.
The Doll’s House is the fifth in the Brennan and Esposito series. After the shock ending of the last book Marina Esposito is now working at the university in Birmingham and DI Phil Brennan has joined the police there. A new start with baby Josephine… what could go wrong?
Well… Phil quickly gets involved in the most strange of murder investigations after a woman is found dead, strangely she is dressed as a doll and sat as if she was drinking a cup of tea at a doll’s tea party.
Tania Carver raises the tension swiftly and it never lets up throughout the book. With a dual narrative giving the reader insight into the killer’s mind this book is nothing short of shocking. Although this isn’t the first time dual narrative has been used in a crime novel in this book it soon becomes apparent that everything may not be quite as it first seems. The reader can work alongside the police trying to guess the motive of this most gruesome of murders.
Living in a new location both Brennan and Esposito have new colleagues to meet and new bonds to make, for Phil this isn’t going to be straightforward with a certain level of resentment surrounding his new role. Marina is also finding her feet with her university colleagues when strange things begin to happen.
As with the previous books in this series the author doesn’t hold back on gore, this is not reading for the faint-hearted, however if you are feeling brave this is a really good read and I for one am looking forward to the next in the series.
So here is my review for the first of the books named The Doll’s House. I chose this book by Louise Phillips for my holiday reading as I’d been really impressed with Red Ribbons which I read earlier this year. I didn’t find this as outstanding as the debut but Louise Phillips again demonstrates her ability to weave a cracking good tale. Following on from Red Ribbons we catch up with Kate Pearson, who is a criminal psychologist who again called in to work with Detective Inspector O’Connor.
Set in Ireland this tale, like her debut, is told from multiple viewpoints of Kate Pearson, Clodagh McKay and the shadowy figure of the murderer himself. Personally I found Clodagh’s story by far the most interesting and engaging of the book. Clodagh is the mother of a teenage daughter, has a marriage which has all but dissolved, and a drink problem. Crucially she is the owner of the Doll’s House.
The story begins with the murder of the presenter of a TV show which allows members of the public to air their dirty laundry in exchange for five minutes of fame on daytime TV (yes you know the type) and it is presumed that he will have made a few enemies along the way. Within pages another body is added to the pile….
One of the aspects of this book which I enjoyed the most was the uncovering of memories. Clodagh visits a hypnotist to try and remember key events in her childhood while Kate, as if she wasn’t busy enough, is trying to help an anorexic girl in her practice who suffers from memory gaps. This added another dimension to the puzzle of the motive and perpetrator of the murders as I willed Clodagh to remember what had really happened all those years before. Themes of memories and the effects childhood trauma run throughout the book as Clodagh fights to find out what is being kept from her along with the reasons for the truth being withheld.
In conclusion an absorbing read although I found it a little off-putting that Clodagh appeared to believe that the dolls knew the answers despite realising that this was the device used to uncover those shadowy events of childhood!
To see my review of Red Ribbons please click the book cover.