Book Review : Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hillary

November 26, 2014 Book review 4 ★★★★

I read a LOT of thrillers but this is one of the most gruesome I’ve read this year!  It doesn’t get overly detailed on the details but I could feel the pain pulsating of the pages.  Sarah Hillary knows just how to send shivers up and down your spine.

Book Review : Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah HillarySomeone Else's Skin by Sarah Hilary
Published by Headline Book Publishing on 27th Feb 2014
Genres: Crime, Mystery & Detective
Pages: 405
Format: Paperback
Source: Bookbridgr

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...

First Line of Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hillary:

“They’ve cordoned off the house by the time she gets home.”

My thoughts on Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hillary:

There was a lot to entertain in this book.  There were characters who were intriguing and whom I was left feeling wanting to know more about.  Detective Inspector Marnie Rome is the main character and is a pretty tough cookie.  She is fiercely intelligent but she is also emotionally scarred by the murder of her own parents some years ago.  I loved how during the book we occasionally saw her leave down her defences and let people into her life.  But I equally loved how she knew how to be the boss and take responsibility for what happened on her patch.

The theme of this book is domestic violence and the setting is in a women’s shelter.  So you expect that there is going to be violent backgrounds, broken people and lots of hatred and fear.  Which there was.  But this book challenges you a bit with its storyline.  I found as I was reading that my thoughts headed in a certain direction as it’s ingrained in our psyche to think a certain way.  Obviously I’m threading cautiously here as I don’t want to slip a spoiler in but Someone Else’s Skin stopped me in my tracks and made me rethink certain perceptions that I may have had.

There are a lot of characters in the book and at the start I found myself getting a bit confused by who they all are and how they fitted in.  But with a little patience, that all worked itself out.  There is a sub-plot going on with Marnie’s foster brother Stephen but we have only tipped the iceberg on that story.  I really hope a follow up is planned so I can understand just what happened there.

From the start of the book, the atmosphere is dark and gritty and that intensified as the book went on.  When we reached a certain scene, I had to put the book down at times as it was tough to read (however thankfully not gratuitous) .  And given the subject, I think that’s a good sigh that the book hit its mark.  It’s physically, emotionally and mentally jarring and I like that it gives a voice to victims.

Overall a very engaging and gripping police procedural book and now that I know these characters, I know I want more.  Plus the writing is very, very good which was the icing on the cake.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


Who should read Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hillary?

I’d highly recommend this to fans to gritty crime fiction.  If you like damaged characters, complex but realistic storylines and don’t mind dark and twisty, then I’d recommend this to you too.  If you are a fan of Karen Slaughter or Sophie Hannah then I also think you’d enjoy this one.

Thanks to BookBridgr and Headline for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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4 Responses to “Book Review : Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hillary”

    • trish

      I know exactly what you mean, I’m a huge mood reader and have to be in the right frame for a book. That’s why I could never read to a schedule.

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