Louise Phillips, best-selling author of Red Ribbons, is bringing out her next transfixing thriller, The Dolls' House on August 1st.
One reason that I began reading Louise Phillips's work is that I am an Agatha Christie fan. I was ferriting out novels that were as satisfying and where I felt that I was 'inside' the mind of the characters, such as those by both Christie and Phillips.
I find that Louise Phillips and Agatha Christie have a driving force in common: they stay true to human nature. Their plots are formed inside the characters' heads. 'Human nature never changes' is a proverb that I used hear a lot growing up. Times change, fashions change, the weather changes, but there is only timelessness in literature if the characters are flesh and blood, and if you can see the absolute link between their personality traits and actions.
Take Phillips' Red Ribbons and Christie's Five Little Pigs. Both novels have mothers who have been the victims of blame-shifting and victims of their own overwhelming and incriminating sense of guilt.
Red Ribbons has a central character, Ellie Brady, a mother who has been institutionalized in a mental home, after being convicted for murdering her daughter. In Christie's great murder mystery Five Little Pigs, the mother is charged with murdering her husband. Both mothers have assumed the air of a criminal because they feel so guilty that they fit the role, without necessarily having done the crime that would make them culpable.
Agatha Christie fans will really appreciate Louise Phillips' literature that plumb the depths of the darker waters of the human psyche.
The water scene in The Doll's House trailer has me intrigued. The young chap floating face down is no doubt a murder scene, that must be deciphered by Kate Pearson, the criminal psychologist who takes a very forensically detailed approach to her work. Why did the young man die - in the outdoors - without a coat on? Was he dragged from his home? Is the watery burial meant to wash all traces of the killer's hands?