Irish Fiction Week Review: The Doll's House by Louise Phillips

Wednesday 18 March 2015
Title: The Doll's House (Dr. Kate Pearson, #2)
Author: Louise Phillips
Publisher: Hachette Ireland
Publication Date: 1st August 2013
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9781444743067
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Thirty-five years ago Adrian Hamilton drowned. At the time his death was reported as a tragic accident but the exact circumstances remained a mystery.

Now his daughter Clodagh, trying to come to terms with her past, visits a hypnotherapist who unleashes disturbing childhood memories of her father's death. And as Clodagh delves deeper into her subconscious, memories of another tragedy come to light - the death of her baby sister.

Meanwhile criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson is called in to help in the investigation of a murder after a body is found in a Dublin canal. When Kate digs beneath the surface of the killing, she discovers a sinister connection to the Hamilton family.

What terrible events took place in the Hamilton house all those years ago? And what connect them to the recent murder? Time is running out for Clodagh and Kate, and the killer has already chosen his next victim...

I chose Red Ribbons by Louise Phillips as one of the books to read for #IrishFictionWeek and I enjoyed it so much that I optimistically added the other two books to my TBR and bought them immediately.

Second novel syndrome is something that Louise Phillips clearly didn't suffer from when writing The Doll's House as, if anything, I enjoyed it even more than Red Ribbons. What I look for from a second book, is for an author to still maintain everything that I loved about their first book but somehow at the same time make it different as well and Louise has definitely managed to do that. Louise creates characters that you very quickly care about and I am very much enjoying reading about Kate Pearson and Detective O'Connor. The characterisation in this series is really strong.

Attempting to summarise the plot of The Doll's House is almost impossible, it's a multifaceted and at times complicated mystery that demands all of your attention. Adrian Hamilton drowned thirty-five years ago, in the present day his daughter Clodagh visits a hypnotherapist and disturbing memories about her father's mysterious death start to come back to her. Kate Pearson is called in after a body is found in a Dublin canal, soon a connection is found to the Hamilton family. That's about the most I can summarise without people screaming spoilers.

The psychological element here is brilliantly done, scarily authentic I loved that part of the story was told through hypnotherapy and as Clodagh's buried and forgotten memories begin to come back to her, I was compelled to read on and uncover the truth. As with Red Ribbons, the book is at times a very thought-provoking read. Also, the setting is once again used to full effect, adding to the overall atmosphere of the novel. With enough unsavoury and untrustworthy characters, the twists keep on coming, so there will certainly be a number of readers who fail to fully put this puzzle together.

It seems that the culmination of Louise's novels is definitely something that she excels at. The breathtaking scenes at the end of Red Ribbons were some of my favourites in the book, real edge of your seat stuff and in The Doll's House, when all of the events collide and the full extent of horrors is revealed, I couldn't read quick enough, desperate to know how things would work out for the characters. The revelations build up slowly, as the tension increases and the final scenes of The Doll's House were just fantastic.

Once again then I am recommending yet another book during Irish Fiction Week, and I have definitely chosen my books well for the week. Fiction as good as this deserves to be read, and so I'd say that you should definitely pick up a book by Louise Phillips if you haven't before.


1 comment:

  1. Oh no! Now I want this one! See you, Shaun, and your enticing reviews...!


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