Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary

SomeoneElsesSkin_v13 SH.jpg Publisher: Headline

ISBN: 978-1472207685

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.

4/5

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.

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4 responses to “Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary

  1. I agree about this being too busy and for me it was the inclusion of Rome’s troubled past that was the problem. I enjoyed the book but really hope that in future novels we can have less of the past and concentrate more fully on the case in hand.

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    • I think it often happens with the first novel in a series, when there’s so much backstory to explain. I hope that her past isn’t left out entirely from the next book but I agree that it would be good to concentrate on the main narrative as well.

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  2. I got Sam to send me a review copy of this (lucky me!) although I haven’t received it yet. I think the title is so evocative already of what happens with bodys in crime fiction. Can’t wait to read it.

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  3. Pingback: Win a copy of Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary | The Bibliomouse

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