Thursday 4 July 2019

The Last Stage by Louise Voss @LouiseVoss1 BLOG TOUR @OrendaBooks #TheLastStage

At the peak of her career as lead singer of a legendary 1980s indie band, Meredith Vincent was driven off the international stage by a horrific incident. Now living a quiet existence in a cottage on the grounds of an old stately home, she has put her past behind her and come to terms with her new life.

When a body is found in the manicured gardens of her home, and a series of inexplicable and unsettling events begins to occur, it becomes clear that someone is watching, someone who knows who she is … Someone who wants vengeance.

And this is only the beginning…

A dark, riveting and chilling psychological thriller, The Last Stage is also a study of secrets and obsessions, where innocent acts can have the most terrifying consequences.

The Last Stage by Louise Voss is published in paperback by Orenda Books on 11 July 2019. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, as part of this Blog Tour.

Please do check out the other stops on the Blog Tour.

The short, but incredibly tense prologue of The Last Stage is a huge hint of what's to come for the reader. Three paragraphs that intrigue and grip; I defy anyone not to continue to read on once they've been terrified by those few words.

The Last Stage is very well structured; I have to admit for a huge liking for a story set in different periods and was especially fond of the scenes set in the 1980s; my own era and I was exactly the same age as lead character Meredith. Although she and I, as adults are in no way alike, I too was brought up in a small, unexciting village whilst watching the women of Greenham Common on the TV and dreaming of joining them. Unlike Meredith, I didn't and by the end of this tense and complex thriller we will realise that running away to join the CND cause was Meredith's biggest mistake, and regret in life.

The present day finds Meredith living quietly in a small cottage in the grounds of a stately home. She's lived there for years; managing the gift shop in the grounds and keeping herself to herself. Her only close relationships are with her boss and his wife and her twin brother Pete. It's clear though that Meredith has a 'past' which the reader is reminded of every time the deep and unsightly scar on the back of her hand is mentioned.

Meredith is unsettled by strange things that have been happening recently; a dead rat in her fireplace, the heads cut off the flowers in her garden, and she can't help but link it with a phone call from the past. She's also terrified that the person who hurt her years ago may have found her.

Whilst this is a relatively short book at just under 300 pages, this author has packed an extremely complex and detailed story into those pages. However, it doesn't feel 'busy' or too much and she is incredibly skilled in crafting characters that have a real depth to them; from Meredith, as lead voice, to the elderly volunteers in the gift shop. 

I had no idea where this story was going, but I was totally gripped throughout as Louise Voss conjures up mystery after mystery and twisty turns a plenty. 

The Last Stage is a taut and compelling story; dark and dangerous, with murderous happenings in the most English of settings; the historical and traditional stately home.

Excellently written, creepy and cleverly plotted; The Last Stage is a thriller to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Over her nineteen-year writing career, Louise Voss has had twelve novels published and has sold more than 350,000 copies. Her six solo titles and the six co-written with Mark Edwards are a combination of
psychological thrillers, police procedurals and contemporary fiction. 
Her last 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 and as a crime fiction coach. 
She lives in south-west London and
is a proud member of two female crime-writing collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women.
Follow Louise on Twitter @LouiseVoss1

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