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Someone Else's Skin: D.I. Marnie Rome 1: Winner of the Crime Novel of the Year Audio Download – Unabridged

4.2 out of 5 stars 329 customer reviews

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By ElaineG TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
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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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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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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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