Red Ribbons, the debut novel of Louise Phillips, is the first in a series featuring Dr Kate Pearson, a criminal psychologist brought in to assist police with the profile of a child killer. The policeman heading up the investigation, the prickly but endearing O’Connor, comes to rely on Kate’s insights into the killer’s motives more and more as the investigation wears on and a second body is discovered.
The red ribbons of the title are the link tying two historic crimes with the present day murders. The fact that the killer is known to us almost from the outset adds to the tension, rather than diluting it. Add into the mix Ellie Brady, a psychiatric patient locked away for murdering her daughter, and yet another layer is interwoven into the main plot. It’s hard to say too much more without giving away details that will spoil the read, but suffice to say this is an intelligently written thriller with an intriguing and multi-layered storyline.
I enjoyed this novel so much I started the sequel, The Doll’s House, almost immediately on reaching the end.