Monday, 25 June 2018

Beneath The Skin by Caroline England @CazEngland @AvonBooksUK #BeneathTheSkin

‘Antonia, Antonia. My name is Antonia.’
It’s been her name for many years. But sometimes, like tonight, she forgets.
Antonia has a secret. A secret so dark and so deep that she can barely admit it to herself. Instead, she treats herself to Friday night sessions of self-harm while her husband David is at the pub, and her best friend Sophie is drinking too much wine a few doors down.
Nobody close to her knows the truth about what the teenage Antonia saw all those years ago. No-one, that is, except her mother. But Candy is in a care home now, her mind too addled to remember the truth. Antonia is safe. Isn’t she?
The lies start small. They always do. But when the tightly woven story you’ve told yourself begins to unravel, the truth threatens to come to the surface. And then what’s going to happen?

Beneath The Skin by Caroline England was published by Avon Books in paperback in October 2017. My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review.

Beneath The Skin is a story that really does creep beneath the skin of the reader. Although marketed as a psychological thriller, I felt that this is more of a dark, dramatic story of relationships; fitting more into the 'domestic noir' genre.

Caroline England is a talented author and her character creation is excellently done. I'm a fan of those characters who are difficult to warm to, and Beneath The Skin has lots of those. The story revolves around four couples, all very different, yet all very compelling in their own way. This author portrays the reality of complex relationships so very well; those couples who, on the surface appear to have everything, but scratch a little under the skin and you find that everything is not quite what it seems.

Antonia is the character who really stands out and the story does seem to revolve around her, and her secrets and her fears. There's an insidious feeling that grows as the story progresses. Once the reader becomes familiar with each character and the intrigue and deceptions are revealed it becomes a much faster read.

I was impressed by this novel. Caroline England's writing style is beautifully precise and her intelligent insight into relationships and the human psyche is quite stunning.

Beneath The Skin is a novel that starts slowly and gifts the reader with some gloriously flawed characters. A fabulous look at relationship dynamics with a hint of darkness hidden within the secrets.

Born Yorkshire lass, Caroline studied Law at the University of Manchester and stayed over the border. Caroline was a divorce and professional indemnity lawyer and instigated her jottings when she deserted the law to bring up her three lovely daughters. In addition to the publication of her short story collection, Watching Horsepats Feed the Roses by ACHUKAbooks, Caroline has had short stories and poems published in a variety of literary publications and anthologies. She was shortlisted for the Impress Prize 2015, in the Pulp Idol 2016 finals and long listed for the UK Novel Writing Competition 2017.

Her debut novel, Beneath the Skin, was published by Avon HarperCollins on 5 October 2017. Her second novel My Husband's Lies will be published by Avon HarperCollins on 17 May 2018.

Website :
Twitter: @CazEngland
Facebook Author Page: Caroline England Author

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