Last Kiss final front cover

New novel from the author of The Doll’s House, published by Hachette Ireland. Winner of the Crime Fiction Book of the Year award, BGE Irish Book Awards 2013

‘A story as fast-paced and thrilling as a rollercoaster’ Jane Casey

I’m delighted to have the lovely Louise Phillips visit the blog. As well as being an award winning writer, Louise is a great supporter of other writers. Today she shares some of her experience about writing and marketing:

Valerie Sirr: I was intrigued to hear that Last Kiss was partly inspired by a short story you had written and I remember your short stories winning literary awards. Could you tell us a bit more about that? Didn’t it win a literary award too?

Louise Phillips: It was a story by the same name in fact, and it won the Jonathan Swift Award a number of years ago. The voice was that of a woman obsessed with her rather nasty male lover. She was damaged emotionally and I suppose even though she killed him rather viciously in the end, no one ever remarked that what she did was wrong. This really fascinated me, how someone so violent could be forgiven by the reader. She turned up again in another short story a year later called ”Role Play’, where a prostitute arrives at a hotel room of a rich overweight man. I didn’t realise it was the same character until it was published in Revival Literary Magazine. I suppose it was inevitable that she would end up in a novel. When a fictional voice doesn’t go away, it usually means they have more to say.

Valerie Sirr: You’ve been doing a great job of marketing Last Kiss. Where did you learn to market so well, or is it something you’ve picked up along the way?

Louise Phillips: Thanks Val! I do my best. I think everyone has to develop their own relationship with social media and other marketing tools at our disposal today. I did study marketing another lifetime ago and I remember being intrigued by behavioural psychology which was part of the course. I’m not sure this helped me though. I just think as a writer it’s good to share your news whilst at the same time still appearing human. It’s also important to think outside of the box, which is why I’ve tried to make each of my book launches entertaining for those who attend. The last one even had free killer lipstick in the shade the killer used. I create book trailers too, which in a visual world is a good way to get the heart of your novel over to readers in about 50 seconds – it’s challenging but fun. The bottom line is, it’s a very tough market out there and it’s very easy to get lost among the major International and well known Irish writers, so anything you can do to set your book apart is a good thing. I think I’m a people person too, which helps. My late mother used to be a trader in the markets before she got married, maybe the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree!

Valerie Sirr: One of the ways you drew attention to your book was to have an online publication day before the launch in Dublin. Any tips about that? I remember give-aways, props etc

Louise Phillips: I hadn’t planned to have one at all but then a reader from the UK who couldn’t attend the launch suggested an online party. I had no idea how it would go but thought sure why not give it a try? I invited people I thought would be interested and at 10 am that day I kicked it off with a question about the Book Trailer. All winning answers would be in with a chance of a small prize. Part of me thought no one is going to answer this but then the answers kept coming in and before I knew it there were nearly 100 people chatting and commenting online. So the day was filled with a quiz or two, or three – none of the questions too difficult and all connected to the novels. We had a Q & A too where readers could ask me any question about a character they wanted? Then it was more fun and games with people suggesting who would play each of the characters if the Kate Pearson series was turned into a TV drama or a movie. That was a lot of fun!! Guessing D.I. O’Connor’s first name nearly caused my laptop to crash!! By 6 pm I was exhausted but boy was it a great lark and I think everyone who took part really had a blast. I would definitely do it again! The prizes were not large, so most people got involved because they were enjoying themselves, and that can’t be a bad thing!

Thanks to Louise for those great tips and below you can find information about the book.


He made the mistake of thinking that he was in control. But he was wrong. And after the final blows of the knife, she stole his last breath with a kiss.

At a hotel room in Dublin, a member of the Housekeeping staff makes a gruesome discovery: the body of art dealer Rick Shevlin, covered in stab wounds – the results of a frenzied attack – and arranged with artistic precision, laid out like the Hangman card from a Tarot deck.

On that damp, grey morning criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson receives a call from the Special Detective Unit asking for her help in investigating Rick Shevlin’s murder. While the detectives work to reveal relevant details from the victim’s past, Kate uses her skills and expertise to build a profile of the killer: female, highly intelligent, filled with anger. Her signatures: symbols from the Tarot card deck and a red lipstick mark on the victim’s mouth – one last kiss. Kate is sure that she has killed before – and that she won’t be easy to catch.

Meanwhile, across the city, Sandra is frantic with suspicion – her instincts tell her that her husband is having an affair, and that the woman has been in her home, moving things. Is it all in her mind?

And what connects her suspicions to the hunt for Rick’s murderer?

As Kate and DI O’Connor are plunged into an investigation with links to Rome and Paris, they uncover a vicious trail of sexual power and evil. And they must work quickly, as the killer has another victim in her sights…

Featuring criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson and Detective Inspector O’Connor, Last Kiss is the chilling new psychological thriller from award-winning crime writer Louise Phillips.



Louise Philllips

Red Ribbons, the bestselling debut novel by Dublin-born crime author Louise Phillips, was nominated for the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year award at the BGE Irish Book Awards in 2012. Louise won the award in 2013 for her second novel The Doll’s House. Louise returned to writing in 2006, after raising her family. In addition to her three published novels, Louise’s work has been published as part of various anthologies and literary journals. She has won the Jonathan Swift Award, was a winner in the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice platform, and her writing has been shortlisted for prizes such as the Molly Keane Memorial Award and Bridport UK. Last Kiss is her third novel and she is currently working on her fourth.


‘On a cold January day in 1984, Ann Lovett, aged fifteen, having started labour, took a detour to the local graveyard instead of returning to school. She laboured for hours in the rain. Ann and her baby died that day. The inquest into her death said: ‘Death was due to irreversible shock caused by haemorrhage and exposure during childbirth.

Last Kiss is not the story of Ann Lovett or her son, nor is it the story of the moral outrage their deaths caused at the time, occurring in the same year as the Kerry babies scandal. But nonetheless both of these true stories have stayed with me and they were in fact the impetus for this fictional tale. A question arose in my mind: What would happen if a baby survived the death of their mother and, in the context of this fictional story, was reared by someone evil?

In writing Last Kiss, the theme of nature versus nurture, good versus evil, fascinated me. The fictional killer I created pushed my boundaries as a writer, and I hope you agree it was a story worth telling.’

‘A dark and terrifying psychological thriller that grips you from the start and doesn’t let you go’ Virginia Gilbert, BAFTA-nominated, award-winning writer and director

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact Frank Cronin, Plunkett PR on or 01-2807873