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Monday 13 August 2018

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

“You were tied to wrong, wedded to it.” Cordelia Russell to a T. I don’t think I’ve ever disliked a main character quite so much. Evil, but wow, utterly compelling, Cordelia had me spellbound from the very start, right to the end. Shock, horror, disgust, disbelief, dislike…these are the emotions that roar around your head as you read about the life of a beautiful, beautiful young girl, orphaned at a very young age. At no point…even over the forty-plus-year span of the story… is it possible to feel any love, sympathy or even empathy for this character, who learnt manipulation (with tragic consequences) at a very young age and more or less set the course of her life by it. At no point do you find yourself actually wanting to like her…which makes this book all the more compelling.

This is a chilling psychological thriller about a girl, then a teenager, then a woman…at whatever stage of her life, her impact on those around her, those who loved her (there were, undeservedly, a few) was devastating and tragic. It’s hard to imagine anyone as cold, unfeeling and selfish as Cordelia, but Nugent does the job absolutely brilliantly. She hooks you in immediately when she sets the scene of Cordelia standing by a blood-soaked body, after which it’s almost impossible to put the book down until the last word.

Nugent is not an author I’ve read before, but she’s earned a place in my list of authors to explore further…and soon!

This was an excellent, well-written and truly memorable story.

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