Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Someone Else's Skin-Sarah Hilary

Someone Else's Skin-Sarah Hilary

the facts
satisfaction: up
pages: 416
gender: F
nationality: UK
year: 2014
novel

A thriller about secrets and what it really means to be a victim. Detectives Marnie and Noah investigate a murder in a women’s shelter.


Oh, this is a hard one to review without spoilers. I often find thrillers to be fairly black and white. Even when characters are tested and seen to be the opposite of what they seem, it’s not to go into a grey nebulous, who can know territory but just a switch from hero to villain. Hilary does not take this easy way out. Every character is hiding secrets, from Marnie’s personal demons, to the ‘villain’s’ coping mechanisms, they are all opaque in a way which means that others project their own biases upon them. And that makes this novel very creepy and unsettling.

Hilary is an able character writer-she doesn’t require pages of prose to form her characters, instead they spring up within a paragraph feeling like people. This is particularly skilled since these characters are so oblique and changeable. The plotlines are very disparate at first to be honest, and you do spend half of the book feeling a bit adrift on a sea of details and plotlines but they get gathered together in the end in a way that doesn’t seem pat or contrived. Instead, these varied plotlines become more of a reflection of the characters themselves.

I really enjoyed Hilary’s skill and though I hope her next one is not about domestic violence, I’d probably read it anyway.

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