Sunday, 20 July 2014

" Last Kiss " by Louise Phillips




A mans body is found in a Dublin hotel room, brutally murdered and posed in an unusual way.  The discovery of lipstick on the man's lips suggest he was kissed after death.  A last kiss.  
Criminal psychologist, Dr Kate Pearson is called into see if she can shed some light on the killer's identity.  She spots some unusual things at the crime scene which suggest the killer is female, and may have killed before....
Meanwhile, Sandra is a woman who is distraught.  She believes her husband is cheating on her, has found dodgy links on her home computer and now thinks someone is watching her.  Items in the house are being moved, strange smells detected and red lipstick found.  

The books brings the reader through the jarringly different worlds of a housewife in suburban Dublin, through to the secretive and intense sexual power games in the underground S&M scenes in Paris and Rome.  The novel examines the effects of sex, on women as well as men, the power it can hold, the effects it can have and the long term results of the darker side of pleasure.  The Prologue is loosely based on real events and makes the reader see how a child's upbringing can be moulded from infancy, regardless of DNA.  A child can be taught to love, cherish and have realistic boundaries. But, there will always be some who slip through the net, and this clever concept is used by the author from the beginning of the book. Kate Pearson uses this line to help DI O'Connor understand how important a child's upbringing is to their future selfworth....
" If a child feels loved, they have a better chance than most "

This is Louise Phillips third crime fiction novel and I believe it may be her best.  The familiar characters of Dr. Pearson and DI O'Connor are a reassuring duo and the spark between them is alive and well.  The narrative is strong. Very strong.  A combination of love and hate, desire and disgust, murder and malice.  The tension that Sandra feels is so well described that I felt myself wanting to shout " look behind you ", even if there was no mention of any presence.  The depth of her hurt on discovering her husbands internet history is also very real.  Her friends seem to be offering support, but can she trust them? 
The investigation into the murder leads the team into unknown territory and is described vividly and without shock tactics.  The further they delve into the past of the victim, the more dark doors are opened, bringing the reader on a journey into the unknown.

I have been waiting for this novel as I am a massive fan of Louise Phillips and am always recommending her previous novels, Red Ribbons and The Doll's House.  Having heard the author read the prologue at a crime writing festival, last December, I knew this book was for me.  I was overjoyed to receive a review copy two days ago.....

Using the likeable and endearing characters of Kate and O'Connor, Louise makes us feel like we have been with them all along.  They work well together, see things very differently and the obvious sexual spark is forever lingering in the background.  However, this can be read as a stand alone book as the plot is strong and well able to hold its own. It is a deliciously dark thriller that leaves a bitter aftertaste, like a great dark chocolate or superior claret. 
 The writing is truly spectacular.  The chapters fly by and before you know it, you are halfway through.  I noticed a subtle notch up in style, pace and depth.  I didn't think the author could get much better, but she has surpassed herself.  Already an award-winning novelist, this author is set for great, great things and thoroughly deserves them.  Top notch crime thriller which deserves its place at the top of bestseller lists, not just in Ireland, but worldwide.

Cannot recommend enough........

Last Kiss is published by Hachette Ireland on 7th August in trade paperback and e-book format.  






7 comments:

  1. Can't wait to read this book ;)

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    1. It is her best so far.....and that is saying something, as I loved both previous books!!

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  2. Love crime fiction and I'm really looking forward to reading this one.

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    1. It is soooooo good. Lock your door while reading, as you will NOT want to be disturbed!

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  3. You always have such great book recommendations! I really want to read this book!

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    1. Top class thriller. You really have to get it!!!

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  4. Just finished this morning! By far the best of the three and I didn't think they could get better! A genius writer!

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