Skin Deep by Liz Nugent #BookReview

About this book…

‘I could probably have been an actress.
It is not difficult to pretend to be somebody else.
Isn’t that what I’ve been doing for most of my life?’

Cordelia Russell has been living on the French Riviera for twenty-five years, passing herself off as an English socialite. But her luck, and the kindness of strangers, have run out.

The arrival of a visitor from her distant past shocks Cordelia. She reacts violently to the intrusion and flees her flat to spend a drunken night at a glittering party. As dawn breaks she stumbles home through the back streets. Even before she opens her door she can hear the flies buzzing. She did not expect the corpse inside to start decomposing quite so quickly . . .

My review…

Having been a huge fan of Liz Nugent’s last two books, I’m not quite sure why this one has sat on my TBR for so long! And now I’ve read it, I wish it was back on there! Not because I didn’t like it, but because I would love to be reading it once again for the first time! What a wonderfully dark and harrowing story Liz Nugent weaves around one of the most hideous and monstrous characters she has ever created…proving that beauty truly is only skin deep.

When we first meet Cordelia she is the only daughter of a family with four children living in a small island community with her parents. The relationships between them all are pretty dysfunctional but I have to say that even I was shocked when I eventually realised just how messed up this family was. I’m a big believer in nurture over nature and Cordelia was certainly a product of her upringing but as her life story develops, I did start to wonder why her luck never seemed to change and why. There were some very shocking moments for me here and, as a mother, I found myself utterly repulsed by some of the decisions taken by Cordelia and the total lack of personal responsibility she took. Any sympathies I felt started to ebb away as I decided to step back and just watch her “car crash” of a life head towards its ultimate fight for survival.

Liz Nugent writes such involving, character lead psychological thrillers that I have to read them in one tension filled session. She has a real talent for developing despicable and unlikable characters and Cordelia is one of her most fascinating. Her beauty seemed at the heart of many of her problems but how much blame could be laid at the door of those who exacerbated her problems? How much do the actions of others towards us affect our self worth?

This is a fantastic book that I couldn’t put down and want to shout about to anyone who will listen! And as I have a captive audience here then that means you lot!! THIS BOOK IS BRILLIANT!! Needless to say, it’s highly recommended by me!

Skin Deep is available to purchase now from Amazon UK (affiliates link). My review copy came from netgalley.

Meet the author…

Before becoming a full-time writer, Liz Nugent worked in Irish film, theatre and television. In 2014 her first novel, Unravelling Oliver, was a Number One bestseller and won the Crime Fiction Prize in the 2014 Irish Book Awards. Her second novel, Lying in Wait, went straight to Number One in the Irish bestseller charts, remained there for nearly two months and won her a second IBA. She lives in Dublin with her husband.


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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