The past And the present collide with deadly effect
When Dublin businessman Adrian Hamilton died in what appeared to be a drowning accident 35 years ago, the event had a devastating effect on his family. His now adult daughter Clodagh McKay, a recovering alcoholic, decides to visit a hypnotherapist in an effort to fill in the huge gaps in her childhood memories and come to terms with herself.
As Clodagh's hypnotherapist helps her peel away the barriers her subconscious has erected to block out many of her childhood memories, it is clear that a dreadful tragedy had happened in the Hamilton household just before her father's death, something that had to do with the death of her baby sister.
As her childhood memories begin to take shape, her older brother Dominic and husband Martin, close friends since childhood, become increasingly alarmed and try to suggest she is having a mental breakdown.
Clodagh's regression sessions happen to have coincided with a series of bizarre murders, including that of prominent television personality Keith Jenkins, that are being investigated by Garda Detective Inspector O'Connor and criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson.
As Pearson and O'Connor investigate the background of each of the victims, it becomes evident the victims were friends as youngsters and that someone is eliminating the group in an effort to cover up something that happened in the past.
As Kate delves deeper into the history of the Hamilton family, she realises that it is more than likely the methodical killer may be targeting Clodagh and that she herself and her little boy may also be in danger.
Dublin-born Louise Phillips scored a solid hit with her first psychological thriller Red Ribbons. Published last year, it was an instant bestseller and was shortlisted for Best Irish Crime Novel of 2012. In The Doll's House Phillips has delivered a sequel that betters her debut – a gripping, suspenseful story peopled with well-drawn characters.