The Last Stage by Louise Voss #bookreview #TheLastStage @LouiseVoss1 @OrendaBooks

A violent and horrific incident forces a young woman to go into hiding, at the peak of her career as lead singer of an indie pop band. Years later, strange things start to happen and it becomes clear that some know who she is…
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…

?????

The Last Stage is one of those novels that is everything but clichéd, but still evokes all kinds of clichés in me: it’s gripping, it’s addictive, it’s unputdownable, I was glued to the pages. I hate to shower you with clichés but The Last Stage is in fact all of those things, and I was in fact totally glued to those pages.

I was such a fan of Louise Voss’s The Old You, it was one of my favourite thrillers last year, if you haven’t read it you totally should! With The Old You in mind and having read the blurb of The Last Stage I literally couldn’t wait to get my grubby little hands on it. I couldn’t believe my luck when Karen Sullivan from Orenda Books most generously gifted me a proof copy when she got wind of my Waiting on Wednesday, thanks so much Karen!!! Did I have heaps of blog tour books to read? Why yes, I did! Did I read The Last Stage instead? Why yes, I did! That flash on the cover kept winking at me until I could no longer resist!

So there I was, with sky-high expectations, I had an hour to spare on a cold Sunday evening (you know, while waiting for Orenda Books At Bedtime as you do) and I thought well why not dip into it. 100 pages later I came up for air, well and truly hooked.

The Last Stage is the story of Meredith, expertly told, past and present interwoven.
In the past, Meredith was a teenager who went to a protest and fell in love with a woman. A girl who lived in a squat home and had zero contact with her family. And eventually Merry, lead singer in a popular band, paranoid, stalked, attacked.
In the present, Meredith has a gift shop in a country estate that’s open to the public. Life is simple, life is good. Well, good enough anyway. She may regret not having a partner or kids, and she may suffer from her old paranoia every once in a while, but her boss is also a close friend, she’s best friends with her boss’s wife and she’s very close to her twin brother Pete. But then things get messed up. A murder, another murder, what the hell is happening, and how is everything connected?

The short chapters propel the story forwards, tantalising me with cliffhangers, seducing me into reading just one more chapter, begging me to pick it up whenever I put it down.

And the culprit? Nope, I did not see that one coming, so yeah the finale came as a shock. And yet, it was so believable, so plausible, not like a massive twist that comes out of nowhere (I hate those) but something I could have foreseen if I had paid just a little more attention. Couldn’t I have? I’ll let you know when I’ve re-read it.
With the finale comes not only shock, but also sadness, and an echo of the butterfly effect: one teeny tiny decision, one small action, can change lives.

In a nutshell: The Last Stage confirms Louise Voss is the queen of the psychological thriller and I cannot recommend it enough!

Pre-order now on Amazon, the eBook is out later this month and the paperback is out in July, don’t miss it!

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