Meet the Next Big Name in Crime Fiction: Louise Phillips and “Red Ribbons”

A searing suspense novel from an exciting new voice in crime fiction

RED RIBBONS is an eerie, chilling and intricately woven mystery that will appeal to fans of Sophie Hannah and Tana French. A gripping page-turner told from three points of view – criminal psychologist Kate Pearson, institutionalised patient Ellie Brady and the killer himself – this is truly an incredible debut novel.”

Just over a year ago, I joined Twitter. One of the first people I met was Louise Phillips (then known as @120socks). We immediately hit it off. Louise and I – along with a small group of like-minded writers – became an informal little Twitter group, sharing blog posts, advice and laughs. I’ve watched Louise working on getting her novel published for over a year and so it gives me great pleasure to be able to host her on my blog today as her debut novel Red Ribbons is released. I asked Louise to give us some insight into how she created the three main characters in the book.

The Killer

“To create this character I needed to go to a place which wasn’t easy for me as a writer. The creation of this killer began with … facing a parent’s worst fear, the thought of something dreadful happening to their child.

The fear of the bad man is one of the central themes in Red Ribbons. A fear recognised worldwide.

If the killer was to be believable, it was necessary to avoid creating a stereotypical evil being … He will certainly appear to the reader as psychopathic, but to others, not obviously so, and most importantly, he will seem perfectly sane and reasonable to himself.”

The Criminal Psychologist

“Dr Kate Pearson, criminal psychologist, is the psychological puzzle-solver. She is a woman who tracks criminal behaviour, identifying personality traits, patterns, analysing information from crime scenes and the factors which influenced its very creation.

Kate … is the eyes through which the identity of the killer is methodically revealed. Not as a means of picking him out from an identity parade, but by understanding the way he works – his needs, wants and desires – the world he inhabits, his past, his present, and importantly – his next move.

But who is Kate Pearson? – Kate is a young wife and mother. She is intelligent, and has worked hard to earn her stripes.

Kate has her own secrets and demons, formed long before she ever walked the path of criminal psychology, and ones which will never leave her, until she solves her own jigsaw puzzle.”

The Accused Woman

“Ellie Brady, a woman who was institutionalised fifteen years earlier for the murder of her daughter Amy, is the last vital connection to be made in the hunt for the killer of the murdered schoolgirls.

Many times the inspiration for a novel is formed in your subconscious, and for me, one of the biggest surprises was the emergence of Ellie Brady’s voice.

She is the woman who stopped talking because everyone stopped listening, and whose voice in some way emerged from the voices of women I’ve met in similar circumstances.

I’m one of those writers for whom the characters become real, become part of my life.

As a writer, the journey I travelled with Ellie, I travelled blindly at times. But I was also guided by a character who arrived on the page whole from the moment I wrote her first words. She is a powerful voice for me, and I hope she proves to be a powerful voice for you the reader.”

Louise Phillips returned to writing six years ago after a 20 year gap spent raising her family, managing a successful family business, and working in banking.

Quickly selected by Dermot Bolger as an emerging talent, Louise went on to win the 2009 Jonathan Swift Award and in 2011 she was a winner in the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice Platform, as well as being short-listed for Bridport UK Prize, the Molly Keane Memorial Award, and the RTÉ Guide/Penguin Short Story Competition. Earlier this year, Louise was awarded an Arts bursary for literature from South County Dublin Arts. Other publishing credits include many literary journals and anthologies, including New Island’s County Lines.

A self-confessed Twitter and blogger addict, she believes social media has broken down many barriers and obstacles to people connecting with each other. Louise is currently working on her second, The Doll’s House, which will be published by Hachette Ireland in 2013.

To buy “Red Ribbons” click here:

2 thoughts on “Meet the Next Big Name in Crime Fiction: Louise Phillips and “Red Ribbons”

  1. I think this sounds brilliant. I have been watching the launch of Red Ribbons with interest and have been thrilled for Louise by the rave reviews I have seen it getting. I have just shared this post on my Facebook timeline. Wishing you much success Louise!

    1. A million thanks Derek and Rebecca – fingers crossed it all works out!!! Amazing support from amazing people – It has been one of the best weeks of my life. xxxx Louise And if ur in Ireland, buy it in an Irish bookshop to help RED RIBBONS get into the top ten – this week is the best chance it has!!!

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