Publication date: 27 February 2014
When DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake arrive at a women’s shelter to interview one of the residents about her brother, they don’t expect to find a man lying in the middle of a room having just been stabbed by his wife. The subsequent investigation twists and turns, bringing together several narratives and proving that nothing is exactly what it seems.
Hilary uses the setting of the shelter to explore domestic violence and abuse but this is always done in a sensitive and intelligent way, never feeling worthy or gratuitous. As various truths about the case come out the detectives, and the reader, are forced to reconsider their initial assumptions about the nature of the abuse that the victims have suffered, the novel gets even darker but nothing is there just for shock value.
In a genre that can sometimes value plot over writing, it is good to find a tightly-plotted and assured crime novel that also has genuinely great writing. Hilary has created a brilliant character in Marnie Rome, taking the cliché of the detective with a troubled past and making it feel fresher than usual. The novel as a whole can feel slightly too busy but everything is tied up by the end – although not too neatly, thankfully; I hate a unbelievably neat ending.
Someone Else’s Skin is a great beginning to a series, as well as a satisfying standalone novel, and I’m looking forward to Marnie Rome’s next outing.
Keep an eye out on the blog next week for a chance to win a copy!
I was sent a copy of the book for review but my thoughts are my own and are always impartial.