Friday, June 27, 2014

Secrets and Lies

Someone Else's Skin by Sarah Hilary (Penguin trade paperback, 24 June 2014).

When London DI Marnie Rome and her partner DS Noah Jakes arrive at a women's shelter to question one of the residents, and are greeted by the sound of screaming. Once inside, they see a man lying on the floor and a woman standing beside him, holding a blood-covered knife.

Their original purpose, to get the abused sister of a Middle Eastern mobster to turn him in, is forgotten as they deal with the occurrence, getting both victim and assailant to hospital, and interviewing the residents of the shelter.

Marnie has her own experience with domestic violence, but she makes sure few know of it.  Even her sergeant isn't aware that five years earlier, when Rome herself was a DS, both her parents were stabbed by a fourteen-year-old boy they had taken six years earlier.

Though she refuses to think of herself as a Victim, Marnie is still able to identify with the women in the shelter.  Why do abusers behave as they do?

Someone Else's Skin is not just a gripping mystery story, it's also an exploration of the psychology of domestic violence.  Parts of it are disturbing, but Hilary is so gifted that her words draw the reader through to the other side.

This  amazing debut  will appeal to fans of Tana French and Alex Marwood.  I eagerly await the next installment of Marnie Rome's adventures.

FTC Full Disclosure:  Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book.

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