Review: Someone Else's Skin by Sarah Hilary (5/5)

Saturday 5 April 2014
Devastating, brilliant and heralding an outstanding new talent in crime fiction, SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN is the crime debut of the year.

Some secrets keep you safe, others will destroy you…

Detective Inspector Marnie Rome. Dependable; fierce; brilliant at her job; a rising star in the ranks. Everyone knows how Marnie fought to come back from the murder of her parents, but very few know what is going on below the surface. Because Marnie has secrets she won’t share with anyone.

But then so does everyone. Certainly those in the women’s shelter Marnie and Detective Sergeant Noah Jake visit on that fateful day. The day when they arrive to interview a resident, only to find one of the women’s husbands, who shouldn’t have been there, lying stabbed on the floor.

As Marnie and Noah investigate the crime further, events begin to spiral and the violence escalates. Everyone is keeping secrets, some for survival and some, they suspect, to disguise who they really are under their skin.

Now, if Marnie is going to find the truth she will have to face her own demons head on. Because the time has come for secrets to be revealed…

I have been very lucky over the past few weeks to receive and review some fantastic books and my good luck is certainly continuing with this one. 'Devastating, brilliant and heralding an outstanding new talent in crime fiction, SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN is the crime debut of the year' is what it says on the back, and after finishing the book I can safely agree and say that it is the crime debut of the year.... that I've read so far!! I can't wait to see what Sarah brings us next.

I knew I would love the book from the prologue. It opens five years ago where our main character, DS Marnie Rome arrives at her parents house to find ambulances and police outside. Now from reading the blurb we know that her parents are inside the house and have been murdered. The writing in these opening pages is superb and very atmospheric. You are almost put into Marnie's shoes and can definitely feel her pain and shock at what's going on. I really liked the character of Marnie throughout the book. I like authors that are actually able to create unique characters rather than just write about a plain old detective.

We then move on to the present day where Marnie, now a DI and her partner DS Noah Jake (another character I really liked) are asked to visit a women's shelter in Finchley where a girl called Ayana is hiding out. The police and CPS need a statement from her against one of her brothers. The brother Nasif Mirza is a person of interest in the assault of Lee Hurran. Somebody is also watching the shelter but at this point we don't know who it is. It's almost five years to the day since the prologue and we learn that Marnie is going to be visiting a secure unit the following day, she also mentions someone called Stephen who is a mystery to us at this point...

Arriving at the shelter to interview the sister they find it unlocked and inside one of the women's husbands is dying on the floor from a stab wound, Jake has to act fast and once the husband is in hospital the women at the shelter begin to get questioned and it is then that the story starts to unravel and the mystery begins. Women from the shelter start to go missing; it's not clear who is telling the truth and who isn't and there's the added element of Marnie's story with Stephen. As always it's difficult to talk about the story in too much detail as it's always best for the reader to discover a book for themselves. I was kept guessing up until the final pages and couldn't turn them quick enough! I can say though that you wouldn't think this was the work of a debut author. The writing, plot, characterisation.. everything is like the work of an author that has been writing for years. Let's not forget that even the best authors in the world had a shaky start to their career so if Sarah is writing at this high standard now in book one, well I am beyond excited to read book two, and three, and four and so on as I hope she will be writing for many more years to come. 

Definitely not one to miss, this is a fantastic read. 2014 has already been an amazing year for crime fiction and we are only in April!

Someone Else's Skin is OUT NOW and you can buy it in paperback or on Kindle from Amazon

Thank you to bookbridgr for the review copy.

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