Someone Else's Skin

Sarah Hilary introduces Marnie Rome, a new detective and heroine of a planned series, in her debut novel, Someone Else's Skin. DI Rome is a detective with a past; five years ago, her parents were brutally stabbed to death by their foster son, who has yet to reveal his motives for the murders. This past comes barreling into the present when Rome makes a routine stop at a safe haven for domestic-abuse victims in London, only to walk in on the aftermath of an attempted murder: a shaken woman stands over the fallen body of her husband, holding a knife.

What seems like a simple case of self-defense is rapidly complicated by a series of unexplained questions: How did the woman's husband know where to find her? Why was the shelter's front door unlocked? Why would he bring a knife to a women's refuge? And, perhaps most importantly, why do none of the eyewitness accounts match when so many people saw what happened?

As Someone Else's Skin unfolds, it becomes clear that in this case, nothing is what it seems; every time Rome thinks she has a handle on the situation, something shifts and leaves her team searching for explanations yet again. The constant setbacks never feel contrived, however, as Hilary pushes the story toward a believably tidy, if somewhat disturbing, conclusion. If this first entry is anything to go by, Hilary's sense of plot and subtle character building will make the DI Marnie Rome series one to watch. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm

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