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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
This is a very good read, introducing a new detective pair DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake.The story starts when the duo visit a battered women's refuge to try and persuade one of the residents to act as witness in a current case but they walk in on a very dramatic, scary situation. I don't want to say any more about the plot, so as not to spoil the read for someone else,...
Published 10 months ago by ElaineG

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising
Here's another book that I'd had on my TBR pile for a long time before I finally picked it up.

The book starts off with an investigation into a guy missing his hand and the grevious assault on a young woman and the family behind these acts. As this is going on a stabbing occurs and then becomes the main focus of the book. Be aware, there are some quite detailed...
Published 2 months ago by Bookboodle


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read, 3 Mar 2014
By 
ElaineG (uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This is a very good read, introducing a new detective pair DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake.The story starts when the duo visit a battered women's refuge to try and persuade one of the residents to act as witness in a current case but they walk in on a very dramatic, scary situation. I don't want to say any more about the plot, so as not to spoil the read for someone else, but suffice to say that it centres around the theme of domestic violence, manipulation and control. Some way into the book I did grasp where the story was heading and as soon as my suspicions were confirmed, I was hooked completely. The characters were extremely well written and Marnie herself has a past which helped make this a detective story with a difference. The story is well paced and twists and turns with a healthy dose of shocks and surprises for the reader.

I did have a couple of gripes about the book. It was a little repetitive at times, especially with the questioning of the women in the refuge. My main thing though was the refuge itself. I don't know anything about refuges really, but I was surprised when the main member of staff there was a man, Ed. I would have thought that women arriving at a refuge would generally have been so traumatised that it would have taken a long time for them to be able to be in the company of any man, and that staff would have been female. For the same reason, I found it a bit weird that Marnie took Noah with her to the refuge, and not another female officer.

That having been said, this really is a cracking read, a complex and thought provoking tale filled with suspense and action, and I am looking forward to the author's next book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut crime thriller....., 24 Mar 2014
I received a copy of this book from Bookbridgr.com in return for an honest review........

Detective Inspector Marnie Rome has seen plenty of murder and mayhem in her life, both professionally and personally. When she is assigned a case involving an honour based crime, it brings more than she had bargained for. Herself and DS Noah Jake find themselves at the centre of an attempted murder in a women's refuge. Someone is not telling the truth and the witnesses are all abused women with plenty of experience at keeping secrets. Too many loose ends make for uneasy feelings for Marnie and she begins her search for answers.

This debut novel from Sarah Hilary is high class crime fiction. DI Rome is a new character with buckets of potential for follow up novels. Her sidekick, DS Jake, is the calmer of the two and together they are a team to be reckoned with. The partnership works really well and the reader is not given too much backround information, paving the way for further insight at a later stage.

The writing is razor sharp and the use of short sentences, throughout the novel, gives it a snappy pace that makes you want to keep turning those pages. Some hard-hitting topics make a great plot, with domestic violence, racism, homophobia and foster care all getting a look in.
The violence is described in depth and has a gritty feel without it seeming to be an attempt at shock tactics. Unfortunately, we live in a world where such violence exists and we can't hide from that fact. I did see how the story was heading fairly early on in the book, but this didn't take away any of the enjoyment. The characters are sufficiently different to avoid the usual stereotypes of the crime thriller genre; no aging alcoholic detective with an ex wife who couldn't stand being married to the job, or young rookie cop with a plan to change the ways of the police force. This is a modern novel, with a crisp approach. It would be a great TV series and I have no doubt that we will hear more from DI Marnie Rome in the near future.........

Recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong debut novel, 10 Sep 2014
By 
Lainy (Bonnie Scotland) - See all my reviews
The book opens five years ago, DI Marnie Rome arrives at her parents home, cordoned off by the police. She knows it is bad, the way the scene is, the glimpses she can have from the house, the way her colleagues talk to her. Then we flick to present day, almost five years to the day it happened. The book teases the details along of what happened to Marnie's parents. But the world of crime stops for noone and she has a job to do. Arriving at a refugee house for abused women, to interview one of the woman who can help with an investigation they happen upon a bloody scene, one of the women have stabbed her partner she had fled from. Each of the women need to be interviewed, each has reason to hide, distrust and secrets are something they all have. As DI Rome tries to cope with her personal trauma and do her job, she needs to keep her wits about her to figure out what truly happened and how to solve the case.

The opening chapter pulls you in, your given enough to know something bad has happened but you don't know who done it or what they actually did. Present days packs quite a punch as one of the women meant to be kept safe has attacked her husband in self defense. There is a lot of tension within this book, the topic of abuse these women have endured is always present. It is a subject that if you have been touched personally by it the book will pack more of a punch with you. If you haven't it gives an insight into what these women endure and why they behave as they do.

I would say it is a psychological thriller, laced with crime and violence. Whilst the matter is dark and may be close to home for some readers, it is handled in a way that I feel didn't cheapen the subject but stayed true to the issues and reflected real life.

For a debut novel it packs quite a punch, I was up past 6am reading this, I could have gotten through it in one sitting had I not had other things to attend to. The chapters are nice and short which I do light in stories, it makes it easier to read more when you have other things to do in between. The time period jumps about a bit, between some of the characters although it is sign posted well enough, in parts it took a wee bit or getting used to. A great introduction to some new characters that I hope to see more of, 4/5 for me this time. I would certainly read more by this author and think Detective Inspector Rome and the other characters (especially Stephen) have some great tales still to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one read which certainly got under my skin.., 3 Jun 2014
By 
Petra "I love to read" "book addict!!!" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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Someone Else's Skin written by Sarah Hilary for me was a great read which I certainly enjoyed as it was so well written I was soon engrossed in each of the character's lives as they deal with their own past and present fears which take over their lives in the most evil yet believable way.
The character Marnie is a great detective but as she deals with the murder of her parents which takes place at the beginning of the book, the murder casts a shadow over her future but she tries to deal with it in the most surprising way.
If you like Martina Cole you will like Sarah Hilary as she too is not afraid of showing the worst of the human race and the evil which was put upon those closest to them it was written in such a way that I could believe what the author was putting across through not only vivid writing but she knew how human emotion could crack in the most unsuspecting way.
The main characters are the police duo Marnie and Noah but with each chapter the author had each of the characters telling their own story which was heartbreaking to read especially for the young Ayana who was in the hostel to escape the cruelty of her family.
The story for me had many angles and each of the characters had a major part, what connected them was the police officers who were seeking the truth where many of the characters were not willing too part with their version of the truth. The author certainly had me guessing and entertained throughout.
Someone Else's Skin is an excellent book and one I am happy to recommend to all readers of criminal fiction.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent crime thriller with enough tension and darkness to keep you hooked., 24 Mar 2014
By 
JK "J. K." (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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Someone Else's Skin was a better read than I expected. There are so many crime thrillers around and the majority run so close to formula it can feel as though you've already the book. This novel, I'm happy to say, doesn't conform to the 'usual' and has a gripping plot set around domestic violence. Sarah Hillary isn't a timid writer, she doesn't hold back on themes of violence but; she writes them well and keeps them relevant to the plot. I found the refuge situation well evoked and investigating officers DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake are well thought through and mostly believable characters.

The novel begins with Marnie and Jake visiting a women's refuge to speak to one of the women in the hope of persuading her to act as a witness in a current case. Let's just say, because I don't want to give anything away, what they discover at the refuge leads them into a series of shocking events with far reaching consequences particularly for Marnie, who already has enough demons in her past.

There are some nicely worked angles around control and manipulation highlighting how abuse works on many levels, not just the physical, and Sarah Hillary does her best to keep it real. I could believe in these women and their situation. There was a point when I understood exactly where the plot was heading but I remained gripped through to the ending.

Any negatives?. The only weakness, and this is just a personal opinion, was the involvement of a male police officer in the initial stages of coaxing the female victim of male brutality to help the police. That just didn't work for me, however; I will certainly look for this author again in the future and I'm happy to recommend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic., 8 Sep 2014
When DI Marnie Rome and her partner DS Noah Jake are sent to a womans shelter to interview a victim of violence, they never expected to walk in on a stabbing!! When they get to the shelter its to find the front door opened, which in itself is very odd because security is supposed to be strict, and a crowd gathered in the living room. The husband of one of the victims is lying on the ground with a knife in him. His wife is inconsolable and the one who stabbed him. Why was he there and how did she get a knife?

Marnie and Noah have to try to get the truth off people who have suffered at the hands of their spouse and who keep their secrets close. Can they find the answers to what happened before its too late?

I've never heard of this author before but I'm so glad I got a chance to read her work. Someone Else's Skin is her first Crime novel and is very impressive.

Marnie is a complex character. She is strong, capable and hard working. She is dealing with secrets of her own after her parents were murdered 5 years before. She has immersed herself in work since then and is known as a ball breaker. She is tough but fair though!

I loved Noah. He is a gay Jamaican and gets quite a bit of slack from on of his co workers but tries not to let it get to him. He is an all round nice guy and the case he is working on really hits him hard. I hope we see more of him in future books.

Then we have the characters from the womans shelter! Quite a diverse bunch but they all have similar stories. We learn some of each characters stories and it was truly heartbreaking. The subject matter of the book is tough and I was crying reading what happened to these women but Sarah Hilary handled it superbly. Its always hard to read about abuse and rape but its even tougher when its done by someone who is supposed to love you.

Overall Someone Else's Skin was fantastic. I started reading it and couldn't stop, I had it read in a day. Its a gripping and tense story and one I wont forget. There's parts where you will feel your heart breaking for each and every one of the character and then there's parts that will leave you breathless. There's a twist that I never saw coming and one that had me gasping! I cant wait for more from DI Marnie and her team.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explores the frightening and messy world of domestic violence with searing aplomb, 28 Aug 2014
Someone Else’s Skin, by Sarah Hilary, explores the frightening and messy world of domestic violence with searing aplomb. It introduces us to Detective Inspector Marnie Rome, a rising star in the ranks of the police, who is struggling to deal with her own demons. All of the characters in this book have weaknesses and flaws which come across as recognisable and real. This is a crime story where prejudices exist and mistakes are made with potentially devastating consequences. It is all the more compelling and believable because of them.

The story centres around a group of abused women who have found sanctuary at a Women’s Shelter. The police arrive to interview one of the residents, only to find the front door unlocked and a man stabbed and dying on the floor inside. Stretched to their limits by the escalating violence that this turn of events unleashes, they try to unravel what has gone before, a task muddied by the victims and witnesses inability and unwillingness to share their experiences. What is gradually exposed is a frightening world of skewed moral compasses, family secrets and damaged people.

I did not warm to Marnie Rome but was impressed with the supporting cast that the author created. The level of diversity, experience, complacency and prejudice in the police force came across well, as did the officers reactions to each other. If literary licence were taken to achieve the fast-moving and tightly woven action then it was played out by credible crime fighters.

Amongst those being investigated by the police, I did find it hard at times to remember who was who. The back stories were complex and mattered. They did not make for easy reading due to the sadistic nature of the crimes. Although exploring the impact of psychological damage, this tale contains a disturbing level of physical violence that was challenging to read. It cannot have been an easy book for the author to research.

The various emotions evoked highlight the quality and power of the writing. The violence described is in no way gratuitous with much being suggested more than dwelt upon. That this happens in the world is sickening. That it is often overlooked for the sake of community relations, respect for cultural differences or because of a simple lack of manpower to deal with the scale of the problem is depressing.

I loved the ending. Not everything is neatly wrapped up, but this is intended to be the first of a series. I am sure that I am not the only reader who will be eagerly looking forward to the next book.

My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher, Headline.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First in a new crime series, 11 Aug 2014
By 
Someone Else's Skin is Sarah Hilary's debut crime novel featuring Detective Inspector Marnie Rome.

Hilary introduces us to Rome in a crime scene involving a stabbing from five years ago - one that was personal. Fast forward to present day. Rome and her partner are heading to a women's shelter to interview a witness. But when they arrive, they walk in on a murder - a stabbing. The eight women in the shelter all saw something, but none of their stories match. Who is telling the truth? Why would anyone lie? What secrets do these women have?

Great premise, great characters. Rome is a strong female lead - smart and preferring to operate on her own terms - sometimes to her detriment. The past effects her view of the present and she often makes judgement calls with those memories colouring her decisions - not always the wisest move. Rome's partner, DS Jake is a great character as well - not a cookie cutter supporting character. He has his own back story and plays a major role in this first book

I thought I had a good inkling of where Hilary was taking her story, but she offered up more than one twist that changed the direction of the story. Her exploration of domestic abuse and our perceptions and misconceptions of this crime are thought provoking. Racism and homophobia are also up for discussion.

Hilary's writing is sharp, the dialogue believable, the investigation flawed enough to keep things moving forward and the reader interested and the final chapters are an action filled finale - all adding up to a cracking good read. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Someone Else's Skin.

In the author's notes at the end of the book, Hilary thanks her agent 'who refused to let the slush pile have me." My thanks to her agent as well - I really enjoyed this character and Hilary's writing. I'll be watching for the second in the series - No Other Darkness - due out in the UK in Spring of 2015.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review Sarah Hilary - 'Someone Else's Skin', 7 Jun 2014
Detective Inspector Marnie Rome has tried to pick up her life again after the horrendous murder of her parents several years ago. She has devoted herself to her work, but there are still certain things she is struggling with and trying to hide from the outside world. Together with her colleague Detective Sergeant Noah Jake she visits a women’s shelter to interview one of the abused women there, but when they arrive at the scene they find someone’s husband stabbed on the floor. As Marnie and Noah start to investigate further, it becomes clear that everyone who is involved in even the slightest way is keeping secrets from one another; secrets that will need to get out in the open if this case is to be solved.

It took me a bit of time to really get into this book. I did immediately warm to Marnie, the protagonist; what happened to her parents is absolutely horrible, and I admired her strength and determination to keep on going. The author also showed Marnie’s weaknesses, which made her an even more realistic and likeable character, in my opinion. I was also fascinated by Marnie’s colleague Noah, and together they formed an interesting duo at the centre of this case. I have to admit I wasn’t ever completely hooked by the specific case in the women’s shelter that had to be solved in this book, but I was curious to see what Marnie and Noah would find out and what it would do to them as characters.

The book deals with some serious topics like abuse, pain, and control, which made it quite a dark read. The story was fast-paced and included quite a few twists and turns which kept me guessing about the final outcome. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, because especially with crime novels this can completely ruin the reading experience. Overall, ‘Someone Else’s Skin’ is a dark, compelling and chilling debut novel by Sarah Hilary with a fascinating cast of characters at its core which we hopefully will be able to come back to in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark and gripping thriller, 19 Mar 2014
By 
EssexReader (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
When DI Marnie Rome and her colleague, DS Noah Jake, are asked to attend a woman's refuge to try and persuade a victim of domestic abuse to give evidence against her brother - the main suspect in another vicious crime, what they originally believed would be a routine visit turns into something far more complex. They arrive at the scene to find the husband of one of the women lying on the floor, the apparent victim of a stabbing. During their investigation for the truth, they have to work their way through a web of deceit and secrets where nothing can be taken at face value.

This is Sarah Hilary's debut crime novel, which, after a bit of a shaky start for me, ultimately turned into an excellent read. I must admit it did take me a while to get into the story. For one thing, the text was sometimes a little too descriptive and I was struggling to understand the meaning, for example, "Broken things were like bad mirrors; they gave out a peculiar light, like....catching sight of your face in a pail of milk spoiled by a thunderstorm" - now it could just be that I don't have any imagination but I didn't understand that one at all! Secondly, I didn't take to the character of Marnie straight away and it took me a while to care about her. However, it was well worth sticking with it as I was rewarded by a dark, gripping story with interesting and well-drawn characters that kept me turning the pages into the early hours.

Marnie Rome is a complicated character with a tragic back story. Her own history is referred to throughout the book and is made to feel an integral part of the novel. She has her own secrets and demons to deal with but far from being defined by the events of the past, they have made her stronger with a determination to succeed. Her sidekick, Jake Noah, has to deal with prejudice and discrimination from others, including some of his colleagues, however the two of them, both damaged in their own way, work well together and this is a partnership that I would love to see developed further in future books.

The story is not a pretty one - it is primarily about domestic abuse and control and the desire to inflict pain and yes there is violence, albeit not gratuitous. Sarah Hilary has created a compelling and wholly believable tale about the darker side of human nature and there are plenty of twists and turns throughout to make this a thriller that you will not want to put down. I shall certainly be looking out for the next Marnie Rome story.
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