- Book: The Last Stage
- Location: Surrey
- Author: Louise Voss
In the 1980s/90s Meredith used to sing with Cohen, a hugely successful group. After a seemingly random attack in the mid 90s, which traumatised her to the core. Meredith’s career came to a juddering halt. Her attacker was never found.
She goes to ground and pretty much keeps herself to herself at Mindstead House, where she runs the gift shop. Gradually she becomes aware of odd and concerning incidents that make her wonder if her quiet life is about to change for the worse – a break-in at the gift shop, but nothing was taken; flowers by her cottage shorn of their blooms….
She has an ill-judged one night stand with Ralph who is both the estate manager and her best friend’s husband. They part but minutes later she returns to look for her key in the ice house (where their drunken coupling took place) and discovers a very different scene.
As it becomes clear that things are starting to unravel for her, she starts to weave her story, omitting truths. How can she possibly admit that she spent intimate time with Ralph, admittedly a one off, but nevertheless…. his wife is her best friend.
As the police become involved, whoever is targeting her starts to ratchet up their game. A cat and mouse dance ensues as Meredith fights for her life.
The author smoothly blends Meredith’s backstory (Greenham Common even gets a look in) with the current storyline, making it a gripping read.
If you read this book and then visit a stately home, you will – guaranteed – be keeping an eye out for characters from this novel! It will certainly make you uneasy about visiting an ice house, for sure, and you will carefully look at who might be serving you in the gift shop!
(Note: This book cover in the photo is the Proof cover and differs from the widely available paperback)