Author: Lisa Unger
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Format: Paperback 384 pages
Release Date: 18 October 2018
Publisher: HQ Stories
I would like to thank Lucy Richardson at HQ and the author for the advance review copy they provided me for review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Her husband’s killer may be closer than she thinks…
It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run. She’s trying to move on but what happened that morning is still haunting her. And now she’s sure she is being followed…
Sleep deprived and secretly self-medicating, Poppy is unable to separate her dreams from reality. She feels like she’s losing her mind. But what if she’s not? What if she’s actually remembering what really happened? What if her husband wasn’t who he said he was? And what if his killer is still watching her…
You can order your copy of ‘Under My Skin’ on Amazon at:
I haven’t posted a review for a couple of weeks as I have been away on holiday and this is my first review since being back. I read this book while I was away and what a book to have to read! I basically read it over one day and didn’t want to get up from the sun lounger as I was so gripped!
We start with two people out on a blind date having met each other through online dating. The narrative is through the woman, Poppy, and by all accounts the guy she is on a date with seems perfect: great job, well groomed and likes to run.
It transpires that Poppy’s husband was beaten to death last year by an unknown attacker whilst running in the park at 5am. Poppy is still devastated by the death of her husband and you can tell she doesn’t really want to be there on the date and she’s only doing so because she feels it’s something she should be doing to move on. After the date they encounter a hooded man and it seems as if Poppy recognises him but at this point no further information is given.
Throughout the grieving process Poppy has been supported by her childhood best friend Layla who is more like a sister as they are so close. Layla had a difficult childhood, both physically and emotionally, but now lives in a stunning penthouse apartment with her gorgeous husband and two over-achieving perfect kids. Poppy however suspects that there may be some cracks to her best friends seemingly perfect facade and that all may not be quite as glossy as she tries to make out.
After Poppy’s husbands funeral she blacked out for a few days and has no memory whatsoever of where she went, who she spoke to, or what she did, until she woke up a few days later in the hospital. Poppy doesn’t want to remember at first as it’s too painful for her but she begins to suspect that she may have learnt some information during these blacked out days that may help her uncover who her husbands killer is and why he was murdered.
Poppy suffers with hypnagogia which is ‘the experience of the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep in humans: the hypnagogic state of consciousness, during the onset of sleep. Mental phenomena that occur during this “threshold consciousness” phase include lucid thought, lucid dreaming, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis.’ Pretty scary right? I’ve never heard of this condition before reading this book and it made for very interesting reading discovering how Poppy copes with this.
I absolutely love unreliable characters when they are narrating the story and Poppy could not be more unreliable. I couldn’t fully trust what I was being told and was constantly suspicious of Poppy and what she might have found out in those blacked out days. With no memory of what happened to her there are so many unanswered questions that made me as the reader desperate to read on and follow Poppy’s hunt for answers.
At the beginning of the book we actually know next to nothing about Poppy and her husbands relationship but as you read on Poppy reveals snippets as she reminisces on their life together which start to give you a sense of what they were like as a couple.
This is one of those books where each chapter finishes on a cliff-hanger and theres no way you can help yourself but to read on to the next to try and make sense of what is going on. The pacing in this book is fantastic. Just enough information and clues are given away at just the right moments that make the book quite literally get ‘under your skin’.
The book is split in to two parts and Part Two is where everything starts to make sense. Up until Part Two however, I felt like I was in a maze and I had no idea what was round the corner or where the next chapter would take me. I read a lot of psychological thrillers but this one really stood out for me and is a well deserved 5 stars from me.
About the Author
Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling, award-winning author of sixteen novels. Her new release UNDER MY SKIN (Oct. 2) is named one of the most anticipated and top thrillers of fall 2018 by BookBub, Bookish, Library Journal and CrimeReads!
Her books are published in twenty-six languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies and have been voted “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, Indie Booksellers, Goodreads, and Sun-Sentinel to name a few.
Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel+Leisure Magazine. Lisa Unger lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter and labradoodle.
For more reviews and updates you can follow me on Twitter @BooksBucks