Skin Deep by Liz Nugent #BookReview #AudiobookReview #NetGalleyCountdown #Book594 #NetGalleyChallenge #NetGalley45

Posted January 29, 2021 by Zoé in Book Reviews / 6 Comments

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent
Published by Penguin on April 5, 2018
Format: eARC, Audiobook
Source: Net Galley, Library
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 373
Amazon
Goodreads

'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 . . .

Not quite sure how to review Skin Deep, the last 10% was so intense and I was hooked. And yet, the other 90% I did not completely connect to the book and the story of Delia, but that may be because I was listening to the audiobook and was distracted at times. Cordelia or Delia is one vile narcissistic woman, she was set on a pedestal from such a young age and she believed that she deserves to be there. However, all the actions she has taken in life were selfish and undeniably calculated. Every encounter, every conversation she tried to work it in her favour and to enable the best outcome for her.

I kept hoping she would have slight salvation, and I honestly thought she would, but I think Delia was too far gone for anything. She could not see past her own gains. Can you guess I wasn’t a fan of hers?

I did, however, love the setting of the book! From the isolated community of Inishcrann to the London, the French Riveria and Monaco. We follow Delia all through her life, seeing how she is destroying all opportunities she has in front of her.

The entirety of the book, we know that time is short, with an explosive opening of a murder, it is hard to see how everything entwined at first. It is not until the final 10% the present day, we finally see clearly what is happening and by then everything is too late. The final pages, we feel the finality of it, we feel coldness but there is no absolution. I feel no empathy nor do I feel elated with the outcome, I feel nothing. Maybe this is how it feels to be Delia.

I was so shocked with the present day when we see Delia in the final hurdle. The shock I felt when we learn about the “body” and it was upsetting especially when you read Delia’s thoughts, they were just plain cold.

That is not to say that Liz’s storytelling is sublime. She has created a character that you can vehemently dislike (I do not like the word hate) and still be invested in their story. I wanted and needed to end the story with some sort of completion. This is a very dark and disturbing story of how one woman can not see outside herself, she never quite thinks the world owes her a favour and she will own that. However, the pedestal she was put on from such a young age definitely hindered her in the woman she became.

Skin Deep is a book that will unsettle you and create such coldness around you. You will be lead on a story from nothing to the glitz and glam until the final fall from grace. It will make you feel many many emotions and who does not love a book that can make you express so much emotion. I mean you may think I didn’t like the book, you would be wrong but as I said at the beginning I found it hard to care, Delia just made life hard. The interludes from other characters, who all share our thoughts made for an extra layer to the book and just cement what we already know and think. It was just fascinating.

Until next time xxx

Thank you to the Publisher for the approval of this book in return for my honest and unbiased review

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6 responses to “Skin Deep by Liz Nugent #BookReview #AudiobookReview #NetGalleyCountdown #Book594 #NetGalleyChallenge #NetGalley45

  1. Excellent review Zoe. I find it hard to enjoy a book when I can’t connect in some way with the main character. Delia sounds like a character that was created by her family and upbringing, a message some parents need to hear.