- File Size: 603 KB
- Print Length: 300 pages
- Publisher: Orenda Books; None edition (May 11, 2019)
- Publication Date: May 11, 2019
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07NNXFPMS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,159 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$15.95|
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The Last Stage Kindle Edition
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|Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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About the Author
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Meredith was the lead singer of the band Cohen thirty years ago, when suddenly she left the limelight and disappeared. Today she lived a life of ignominy and worked in a gift shop. But small things started happening again, things which raised a tinge of doubt in her mind. Was her stalker back again? And where was her boss Ralph?
My first book by Louise Voss, this was a slow burn thriller which slowly led me into the crux of the story. Narrated in two timelines, Louise allowed me to join the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that was the life of Meredith. I loved how the character was built up in each chapter, telling me exactly who she was without a hint of apology.
The emotions of fear and apprehension leaped off Meredith as certain events came to light. The story showed me the unimaginable plots of a human psyche, how two and two were added together to make five and thoroughly justified. I could only read the reasons with astounded eyes. Such is the human mind.
Ah well, then came my niggles, the story could have been faster and plot lines tightened. Few characters were not really relevant to the plot.
Overall, I had fun reading this book which showed me the psychology of a deranged mind which absolutely thrilled me. That's what I would call a deconstructed psychological thriller!!
Top international reviews
Although this book has a very different feel to The Old You, the sense of mystery and suspense still oozes from every page, and from the very beginning I was completely intrigued by Meredith and her story, desperate to know just what she was hiding and why someone appeared to be targeting her in a campaign which could only be designed to completely unnerve her. Far from the reltaive spinster she had become, Meredith used to be a top rock star, on the verge of a major deal when she dropped from the limelight, but as to why ... Well it takes us a while to get to the full story, and even though it is obvious something happened, it is not until quite far into the book that the full extent of her past is revealed, and in quite shocking, gut wrenching style.
Louise Voss has a real talent for putting the reader in the heart of the action, creating believable settings that you can almost see, smell and touch. This is just as true with The Last Stage, and whether the scene was set in Meredith's cottage, the old Ice House within the estate grounds, or her brother. Pete's, barge, I had a very clear picture in my mind of where the characters were at all time. Speaking of characters, this is one of Ms Voss's greatest achievements and she manages to create such varied, relatable, if not always likeable characters. They are the ones that bring you into the story and that is essential in this book as without a character you become invested in, it would be far easier to walk away than it actually is.
For me, Meredith is one such character who is beautifully flawed and multi faceted. If we take present day Meredith, she is quite calm, perhaps a little repressed (with good reason) and whilst not necessarily the most exciting character, I did like her and I wanted to know why she was being stalked. However, some of the chapters that interspersed the main action, were set in Meredith's past, detailing the journey she went on from naive, if somewhat bolshy schoolgirl, to rock chick. That was a Meredith that I wasn't so fond of. Perhaps you could say she was blinded by love, that was certainly true, but she certainly didn't make it easy to like her. Not that this justifies the events that ultimately ended her career before it really began, nor did it make it less shocking, and those scenes are quite hard to read.
This book explores a number of key themes - young love, betrayal and revenge - and how far people are willing to move beyond the line of morality for the person they love. From murder to stalking, and from family to the potentially devastating effects of obsession, the is an underlying sense of threat which is woven through the whole book, sometimes overt and sometimes implied, but which keeps you on the edge of your seat right up to the tension filled, highly dramatic conclusion. Another cracking read, and fans of the author will be left very satisfied.
Louise Voss opens with a prologue that ramps up tension then there’s the intrigue, the curiosity around Meredith.
Transported back to the 1980s we learn how Meredith became the lead singer in Cohen, via Greenham Common, and the bands rise to fame. Then she gives it all up. Something bad happened.
Meredith is now a shop manager for the stately home in whose grounds she now lives. No one knows about her old life, she is settled but lives quietly and under the radar keeping the horror away – although the underlying fear is never far from her mind – she is just about coping. Then she gets a call the bands manager. How did he find her? He wants to get the band together again but Meredith refuses. Life goes on and she hears no more about it.
Time passes and some strange things start to happen….
Now the book really starts to grip you. Meredith doesn’t always make the right choices but she is a sympathetic character. What did happen to make her give everything up?
I moved to London in ’78 in my late teens, it was a great time. It’s funny when something triggers memories. They may not be the exact same experiences but you connect. It makes for an even better reading experience because you relate, you think yes! And there you are, hooked.
Still, whilst the past is fascinating and may hold answers, you want to know what’s happening now. Will she be safe?
You will connect with Meredith, Pete, Andrea, Gemma and others along the way.
Then more terrible things happen….
It’s scary at times and sad, so very sad – the things that happen show just how evil the perpetrator(s) are – it’s shocking.
Perhaps it is futile or misplaced, perhaps the past has really come calling. Or is something else altogether going on? Moving from 1983 to the present day, back and forth the story unfolds. Can we dare to hope?
Louise Voss opens with a prologue that will have you checking your doors and windows and then quietly sets you along the path to find the answers building tension and drawing you into this finely written story. A story that will keep you hooked until the very end.
I really enjoyed this book and would certainly recommend it.
With many thanks to Orenda Books for an eCopy of The Last Stage and to Anne at #RandomThingsTours for the invitation to take part in the The Last Stage Blog Tour. Whilst I was delighted to receive an eCopy of The Last Stage by Louise Voss from Orenda Books for the #RandomThingsTour I have also purchased my own eCopy.
I’m a huge fan of Louise Voss (and have been ever since I bought her first novel To Be Someone, which is still one of my favourite and most read books!) and I’m so happy to say that this book more than lived up to my high expectations. The prologue is so creepy that it gave me chills and I knew then I was going to be hooked all the way through this book (and I was right!). The idea of waking up in the middle of the night to hear footsteps on the stairs and then your bedroom door handle starting to turn is terrifying!
The Last Stage is set in the present but we get chapters from the past from when a 17 year old Meredith goes off to Greenham Common and meets a girl there. I felt equally invested in both timelines and I was desperate to know how the past and present fit together to explain why Meredith was so scared by the thought of things from the past catching up with her.
Louise Voss has created such an interesting and intriguing protagonist in Meredith and I wanted to know more about her from the start. She does make some bad decisions in this book and at times I wanted to reach into the pages and make her do things differently but I could see why she chose to keep quiet about the unnerving things that were happening to her and around her. I think fear affects people in all kinds of ways and while some people would immediately beg for help and support, other people almost shut it down and believe that if they don’t acknowledge it out loud then it can’t possibly be really happening. I really felt for Meredith and was rooting for her to be okay.
I love the title of this book and how over the course of the novel you sense a different meaning in it. I initially thought it was about the last stage Meredith might have performed on as a rock star before she quit, then I thought it might be the last stage of her life but then I wondered if it might not be about Meredith but rather a reference to the last stage of a campaign to ruin her life. Or maybe it’s more to do with the way Meredith has to confront her fears from her past (as in previous stage) before she can move on. I love when a title gives me lots of possibilities to ponder over!
This book kept me guessing right to the end! I didn’t trust anyone in this novel, they all seemed like they might have something to hide and this made for such a thrilling read. The tension in The Last Stage is there from the start and it slowly builds and builds until you’re literally on the edge of your seat. I even found myself holding my breath during the more tense moments! I loved this novel so much, it was a perfect psychological thriller and one that I’ll be thinking about for a while. It’s tense, thrilling and will keep you up way past your bedtime (and by this point you’ll be nervously wondering if you can hear footsteps on the stairs and if the bedroom door handle is moving!!). An utterly brilliant read!
I thought this one a bit of a slow burner. I'm not really quite sure why I found it slow to get going as there is plenty going on throughout the book. Murder and strange goings on is quite a serious matter and yet there is a certain humour within the story, it made me smile on quite a few occasions.
Set within the grounds of a large country residence, there is a certain element of creepiness about it just because of the location. Once a lead singer in a successful 80's band, Meredith Vincent now middle aged has become something of a recluse. She lives a very quiet life working in a cafe/gift shop at the Stately Home, partly in the hope that no one in this little village of Minstead would recognise her for who she used to be.
The reader knows something quite traumatic happened to Meredith prior to her sudden departure from the band but it isn't until much further along that it's revealed in all its horror.
From there onwards it gets ever more tense reaching a gory and somewhat disturbing climax. Real edge of your seat stuff. Overall I really enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next thriller from this author.
Louise Voss has really come up with a book that lives up to this description.
Meredith Vincent is gift shop manager at a open to the public country home, but many years before she was a singer with a hugely successful rock band, after an horrific accident led to her leaving the music business . Meredith now loves the seclusion of working and living deep in the country, in a cottage within the extensive grounds. Strange things begin to happen, small things to begin, but they add up to something very sinister. Gradually we learn of Meredith’s past by dipping between the eighties and the present. This really is a page turner, I could not put it down and read it in two sessions. The writing is crisp, and seductive leading us to a very clever and disturbing end. I had not read any of Louise Voss’s books before this one, I shall certainly be reading others. Very highly recommended.
Louise Voss is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Her collaboration with Mark Edwards is good, but, I think I like her own books better.
It lacked the dark psychological writing she is known for and was quite tame. Very disappointing .