A masterful plot, together with a nervous and at times unreliable narrator, combine to give readers a thrilling page-turner!
Meredith Vincent lives a quiet, unassuming life as the manager of the gift shop on the grounds of Minstead House, a stately home that welcomes the public on a daily basis. She has worked there for over 20 years, and lived in a cottage in a remote area of the estate for just as long, loving the life she’s created for herself and ensuring that she surrounds herself only with a small group of people that she knows she can trust, including her boss, his wife (who happens to be her best friend) a few of the other staff, and her twin brother Pete, who lives nearby.
As the story unravels we learn that Meredith has a good reason for withdrawing from the world. She used to be the lead singer of a world-famous band back in the 80’s but then suddenly and inexplicably disappeared from the world stage when the band was at the height of their fame. Alternating between past and present, we discover Meredith’s background: her rebellious teen years, a stormy relationship with her mother, leaving home shortly after her father’s death – all leading to where she’s landing up today. Voss cleverly leaves out the main piece of the puzzle though. You almost think she’s forgotten that vital piece, but of course she hasn’t. What happened to Meredith that made her become almost a recluse?
But now, disturbing incidents have started to occur that make Meredith believe that someone has returned from her past to seek her out. Someone has taken the trouble to hunt her down and remind her that she cannot disappear that easily. Someone wants revenge and before coming after Meredith, they’re going to come after the people around her first. The paranoia that she’s lived with for so long may seem misplaced at first, but we come to realise that it really isn’t!
Voss has created a fantastic police team and I hope this isn’t the last we’ll see of them. DC Gemma McMeekin is wonderful – sensitive, insightful and full of empathy. DS Mark Davis, not everyone’s favourite and rather snidely nicknamed ‘Dark Mavis’ (Ok, it’s actually really funny, especially when it’s shortened to just ‘Mavis’) does come through in the end. Newcomer to the force, Emad Khan is eager to please. He’s not a youngster, so although he’s new to policing, he’s no fool and he and Gemma go way back to their school days so she’s more than happy to give him the opportunity to prove himself on this case.
The Last Stage is perfectly paced with just the right amount of twists in all the right places. A 4 star read that’s highly recommended.
Over her eighteen-year writing career, Louise Voss has had eleven novels published – five solo and six co-written with Mark Edwards: a combination of psychological thrillers, police procedurals and contemporary fiction – and sold over 350,000 books. Her most recent book, The Old You, was a number one bestseller in eBook. Louise has an MA (Dist) in Creative Writing and also works as a literary consultant and mentor for writers at www.thewritingcoach.co.uk.
She lives in South-West London and is a proud member of two female crime-writing
collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women.
Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me along for this one – she actually enticed me out of what was supposed to be a bit of a blog tour break! Who can say no to a combination of Anne Cater and Louise Voss?! This is an epic blog tour! Look at what other bloggers are saying about The Last Stage …