Irish Fiction Week Review: Last Kiss by Louise Phillips

Friday 20 March 2015
Title: Last Kiss (Kate Pearson, #3)
Author: Louise Phillips
Publisher: Hachette Ireland
Publication Date: 7th August 2014
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9781444789379
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
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.

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?

Another Irish Fiction Week review and again it's for a Louise Phillips book, but hopefully that is a sign of how good they are, and hopefully it urges those with these books on their TBR, to move them closer to the top... In Last Kiss Kate Pearson is once again assisting the Dublin police with their latest case: the murder of an art dealer with a dubious sexual past, his body arranged to mimic the Hangman card from the Tarot deck. When reading the blurb I actually wondered just where the story would go, and whether I'd even enjoy it with the whole 'web of sexual power and evil which spreads from Dublin to Paris, and then to Rome.' What I'll say then is that Last Kiss has been my favourite out of the three that have been released so far.

Last Kiss is a hard book to review because often the things I love most about the book are those that you can't really talk about without giving away half the plot. The chapters featuring our killer are probably some of the best I've read, endlessly fascinating and so very terrifying this really was compulsive reading at its very best. The psychological elements of Louise's books are just so brilliantly done, bringing to the story an authenticity greater than any other author I have read in a long time. It's very hard to discuss the characters in any great detail, but Louise - as in her previous books - raises some interesting points, leaving the reader with a lot to think about long after turning that final page. A person's upbringing, what drives them to kill etc is something that is often explored very loosely, or lazily in a lot of crime fiction books. Often it's just a case of been there, done that but there's a lot to be taken from Last Kiss, and it would certainly provoke a lively discussion from book club readers.

I'm repeating myself but as said in my review for The Doll's House, one of the strongest elements of Louise's stories for me are their endings. Often you can read a book, great start, brilliant middle and then abysmal ending. And this happens a lot. Louise keeps the suspense going pretty much until the final pages. I read the last hundred or so pages of Last Kiss in the bath, and I had my Kindle in a vice-like grip because I was practically shaking, such is the suspense and tension created here. I even gasped out loud (yes, really!) near the end too. A satisfying conclusion for the main story, yet the reader is left wanting more from Kate and O'Connor, an intriguing pairing to say the least. What I particularly like about Kate is she is very realistically drawn, not without her own issues and demons I never felt like I'd read about her before, as is sometimes the case with female psychologists especially.

It's certainly been a long time since I sat and read all of an author's books in just one week but I honestly couldn't have chosen three better books to read during Irish Fiction Week and I just can't recommend them enough. I imagine a lot of people will have discovered Louise by now, and I'm late to the party, but for those out there that haven't yet, do so ASAP. Three of the best books that I've read in 2015 so far.


1 comment:

  1. I liked this too, but I haven't read any of her others. I'll get to them soon - and there's a new one before long!


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