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Someone Else's Skin

Sarah Hilary


Detective Inspector Marnie Rome. Dependable; fierce; brilliant at her job; a rising star in the ranks. Everyone knows how Marnie fought to come back from the murder of her parents, but very few know what is going on below the surface. Because Marnie has secrets she won't share with anyone.

But then so does everyone. Certainly those in the women's shelter Marnie and Detective Sergeant Noah Jake visit on that fateful day. The day when they arrive to interview a resident, only to find one of the women's husbands, who shouldn't have been there, lying stabbed on the floor.

As Marnie and Noah investigate the crime further, events begin to spiral and the violence escalates. Everyone is keeping secrets, some for survival and some, they suspect, to disguise who they really are under their skin.

Now, if Marnie is going to find the truth she will have to face her own demons head on. Because the time has come for secrets to be revealed... 

Sarah Hilary cleverly crafts perceptions and then alters them in her debut novel, a police procedural set in London.


The prologue is brilliantly written and introduces twenty-eight year old Marnie Rome as she returns to her family home to find a crime scene. Her parents have been murdered by their 14-year-old foster son.


Skip forward five years and DI Marnie Rome and her sidekick, DS Noah Jake, visit a women's shelter. They're supposed to be interviewing Ayana Mirza, a young lady whose brothers attacked her with bleach, rending her blind in one eye. The Mirza brothers are known to the police as dangerous and Ayana’s statement would be important. But as Marnie and Noah arrive at the shelter they hear a scream. The partner of one of the women, a man who’d found the refuge, was laying on the floor having been stabbed in the chest. A woman stands over him, knife in hand. With help, Noah manages to save the man’s life, but why was he stabbed, self-defence?


Witnesses at the refuge are proving unreliable, their motives unclear. Wide reaching domestic abuse and threats are at play. Dark and violent, the book can be unsettling but it has heart and the scenes are never gratuitous or exploitative.


The smart, tough and emotionally damaged Marnie leads the investigation whilst still visiting the perpetrator of her parents’ murder, in an attempt to deal with that event. She has other baggage too, as does Noah, an interesting character and different from many of his colleagues.


This novel is brimming with good writing, strong characters, devious plotting and a darkly authentic subject matter. 

About Sarah Hilary:

Sarah Hilary lives in Bath with her husband and daughter, where she writes quirky copy for a well-loved travel publisher. She's also worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. An award-winning short story writer, Sarah won the Cheshire Prize for Literature in 2012. SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN is her first novel. Her second, NO OTHER DARKNESS, will be published in early 2015. 




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