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Someone Else's Skin (D.I. Marnie Rome 1): Winner of the Crime Novel of the Year Paperback – 14 Jul 2016

4.2 out of 5 stars 348 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Someone Else's Skin (D.I. Marnie Rome 1): Winner of the Crime Novel of the Year
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  • No Other Darkness (D.I. Marnie Rome 2)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (14 July 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472207696
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472207692
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (348 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

A cracking good thriller, tense and unpredictable (Richard Madeley Richard and Judy Book Club)

This crime novel is excellent at unexpected twists (Judy Finnigan Richard and Judy Book Club)

A stunning debut (Mark Billingham)

A slick, stylish debut. And one that certainly got under my skin (Sharon Bolton, author of NOW YOU SEE ME)

This is a corker: twisty, tricksy and, on occasion, seriously scary (Observer)

I absolutely loved it. One of the best crime novels - not just debuts - I've read for ages (Martyn Waites)

An impressive debut... The book's central theme is domestic violence, which Hilary handles unflinchingly with force and passion. DI Rome is an appealing creation (The Times)

So brilliantly put together, unflinching without ever being gratuitous and I love the way Sarah writes - every other page has a line I wish I'd thought of myself. It's the best crime debut I've ever read and deserves to be MASSIVE (Erin Kelly)

A thrilling debut (Express magazine)

A truly engrossing read from an exceptional new talent. Hilary writes with a beguiling immediacy that pulls you straight into her world on the first page and leaves you bereft when you finish. Intelligent, emotional and totally unexpected in terms of where it goes. I truly loved this book (Alex Marwood)

It's a simply superb read - dark and thrilling (Sun)

It's meaty, dark and terrifying. Unflinchingly violent and beautifully big-hearted in equal measure. And Sarah's writing is glorious - she tells us things in new ways, gives us a fully fleshed, sensual world to inhabit for the novel (Julia Crouch)

A thinking woman's whodunit (Irish Examiner)

It has such pace and force. It's very disturbing and builds up to a terrific climax (Helen Dunmore)

There's a tough new female detective on the block - Marnie Rome . . . [this] unflinching tale which will get under everyone's skin (Daily Mirror)

I think it must be one of the debut novels of next year, if not THE debut novel... (It will be if there is any justice in the world!) (Caro Ramsay)

Intelligently and fluently written with a clever plot and an energetic pace, dealing with harrowing topics and shot through with humanity, I think Sarah's onto a winning series and I really look forward to reading the next instalment (Cath Staincliffe)

It's written with the verve and assurance of a future star and deserves to be a big hit (Steven Dunne)

I finished it today and it's completely brilliant, complex, thrilling, brutal, tender, scary and intriguing. What a great book. The pacing is superb, the plot is compelling, the characters are so well drawn. The ending is ingenious (Richard Jones of Bristol Review of Books)

Book Description

Winner of the Theakston's 2015 Crime Novel of the Year, and a 2014 Richard and Judy Book Club pick. SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN has been acclaimed as 'stunning' by Mark Billingham and 'superbly disturbing' by the Observer. Introducing DI Marnie Rome, this powerful novel that will enthral fans of Val McDermid and Mo Hayder.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My read of choice is literary or contemporary fiction with a ghost story on the side. I love being lured though and I have a fondness for a good crime novel. Bring on the PD James and a bit of Ruth Rendell and I'm happy with a change of scene.

After the first few lines, I fell into Someone Else’s Skin and down the scary rabbit hole with the willingness of a trusting child. I'm hard to scare but the author extracted enough bug-eyed moments from me to convince me that this book marks a new era in crime novel writing.

DI Marnie Rome, the main protagonist, is different. Without being a ‘maverick’ or any other kind of stereotype, frankly, she settles onto the page like someone you might know. Even her backstory, unusual & harrowing as it is, sits well on the page and you accept it. You accept her. She’s the new cop on the block and she takes no prisoners. And yet she is satisfyingly normal, with enough vulnerability to make us carry on liking her.

The setting is a women’s refuge, largely unexplored in fiction (to my knowledge) and while the author deals with the inherent issues sensitively, she pulls no punches. She touches on other horrors too, including the evil that is FGM.

This is a cleverly conceived story; the characters perfectly drawn. Marnie Rome’s relationships with her colleagues feel real. As does her empathy for the women she comes into such intimate and distressing contact with. The short chapters work brilliantly. They run like a film, each scene is a snapshot that embeds itself, urges you on, keeps you up well past the witching hour. I found it hard to put down. When the twist came it was like a knife. It came out of left field and I wanted to hate it.
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Detective Inspector Marnie Rome focuses on her job, leaving little room for anything else. She knows first hand what it’s like to deal with a terrible and violent loss. Five years ago her parents were horrifically murdered by her foster brother. The resulting emotions are what drive her. Her colleagues know of her past and how hard she fought back, but few know the real Marnie.

During the course of an investigation Marnie and her partner, Detective Sergeant Noah Jakes visit a women’s shelter to interview a resident and walk into an attempted murder. Hope Proctor has stabbed her husband, Leo, in self-defence. Witnessed by several of the residents, yet they have differing accounts of the attack. And the big question is, how did Leo get into the shelter in the first place, when the building was supposed to be secure at all times. It was only by chance that Marnie and Noah were there. They wanted to interview Ayana Mirza about her brother who is wanted in connection with a serious assault.

Domestic violence is at the heart of the story; between couples and families who commit appalling acts in the name of honour, with the added horrors of female genital mutilation, homophobia and racism. It makes uncomfortably dark reading in parts. There are several threads playing out simultaneously, which overlap and capture the attention as they unfold.

This is a really good, skilfully written debut novel with a compelling, believable story line, realistic dialogue and credible characters. The narrative takes several unexpected and shocking turns. The pace doesn’t slow and the plot becomes ever more complicated, the reader only finding out the plot points when they are revealed to Marnie and her team as they work through the investigation.
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No two victims are alike.

DI Marnie Rome knows this better than most. Five years ago, her family home was the scene of a shocking and bloody crime that left her parents dead and her foster brother in prison. Marnie doesn’t talk much about her personal life, preferring to focus on work. Not even her partner, DS Noah Jake, knows much about Marnie’s past. Though as one of the few gay officers on the force and half Jamaican to boot, Noah’s not one to overshare about his private life either. Now Marnie and Noah are tackling a case of domestic violence, and a different brand of victim.

Hope Proctor stabbed her husband in desperate self-defense. A crowd of witnesses in the domestic violence shelter where she’s staying saw it happen, but none of them are telling quite the same story, and the simple question remains: how did Leo Proctor get in to the secure shelter? Marnie and Noah shouldn’t even have been there when it happened but they were interviewing another resident, Ayana Mirza. They’re trying to get Ayana to testify against her brothers for pouring bleach on her face for bringing dishonor to the family, and blinding her in one eye. But Ayana knows that her brothers are looking for her, and she has no doubt that they’ll kill her this time.

As the violence spirals, engulfing the residents of the women's shelter, Marnie finds herself drawn into familiar territory: A place where the past casts long shadows and she must tread carefully to survive.
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A crime story that holds your attention throughout, focusing on crimes committed towards those in a women,s refuge. Their sordid stories grip your attention as DI Marnie Rome and her team track down the crimes committed and their perpetrators, with Rome fighting back her own demons of both parents murdered five year,s earlier.
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