Tuesday 20 November 2018

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent @lizzienugent PAPERBACK BLOG TOUR @GeorgiaKTaylor @PenguinUKBooks #SkinDeep

The deliciously sinister new novel from the No 1 bestselling author of Richard and Judy Book Club pick, Lying in Wait'
'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 . . .

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent was published in paperback in the UK by Penguin Books on 15 November 2018.

As part of the Blog Tour for the paperback publication, I'm delighted to re-share my review of this stunning novel:

"Once again, this incredibly talented author has created a character who is completely and utterly unlikeable. Cordelia Russell, or Delia as she was formerly known, is a monster, plain and simple; completely bad, evil and uncontrollable, but oh my God, I loved her.

Whilst Skin Deep is undoubtably Liz Nugent through and through, it's a little different to her previous novels. Those were dark, but this one is black as a starless night, with myths and folklore woven delicately through an utterly terrifying modern-day chiller.

The reader is introduced to Cordelia as she trawls the bars of the Cote d'Azur, looking for someone who will buy her a drink, or food. We know that there's a dead body in Cordelia's flat, but we don't know who it is, or why it is there. From here, the author takes us back to Cordelia's early life, when she was Delia, the apple of her father's eye, living on a remote Irish island.

I'm not going to go into detail about the plot, why on earth would I when Liz Nugent has done such an incredible job already? However, this is a dark and threatening coming of age story featuring a character who has a core of evil, and infects everyone around her.

The author creates such a magnificent sense of place, whether it's the isolated, insular community on the small island of Inishcrann, or the ultra glamour and decadence of the French Riveria; the reader is well and truly transported.

Skin Deep is captivating, but so bloody uncomfortable. This author's intricate plotting and tension building is second to none and those characters!

Completely and utterly brilliant. I literally couldn't put this down and consumed it within a day. Liz Nugent is at the very top of her game. Highly recommended from me."

Extract from Skin Deep

I wondered when rigor mortis would set in, or if it already had. Once I had cleared away the broken glass and washed the blood off the floor, I needed to get out. I inched my way past  it, past him,  and  locked  myself  into  the  bathroom.  I showered as quickly as I could. The cracked mirror above the sink reflected my bloodshot eyes and my puffy skin. I applied make‑up with shaking hands and dried my hair. I emerged from the bathroom but could not avoid looking at the huge corpse slumped on the floor. I forced myself to be calm. I grabbed the first thing in the wardrobe that came to hand. My silk cashmere dress had worn thin with use, but it was the best thing I had. I needed to leave my flat. I couldn’t think straight with him lying there, a blood‑soaked monster.
I negotiated my way down the narrow, cobbled streets to my favourite cafe on the promenade, stopping off to buy cigarettes. I bought a demitasse and drank it with trembling hands, watching the tourists absorbed by their phones and their maps, ignoring the beauty of the Mediterranean just across the road.
I had twenty‑five euro in my bag, all I had left until my next maintenance payment. It wasn’t enough to run away.
Something will happen, I told myself, someone will be able to help. I needed to be calm. To pretend. I was good at pretending. It was midday already, and the October sunlight was strong. Too bright for me. The world was too bright for me. I decided to walk the promenade. I’m bound to meet somebody I know, I though. Someone will turn up and keep me company. I don’t have to tell anybody. But a solution will reveal itself. It must. For the first time in decades, my thoughts turned to God. I wished that I believed. I needed some divine intervention.

Praise for Skin Deep, and Liz Nugent

'Perfect summer read for those who like their escapism on the darker side' Ian Rankin

'Unspools with many an unexpected shock ... sly humour and dazzling originality' The Times & Sunday Times Crime Club
'Bloody brilliant!' Denise Mina
'An extraordinary writer - Liz Nugent maps the human mind as a cartographer charts new worlds: She's boundlessly curious and totally unflinching' A.J. Finn
'While the likes of Paula (The Girl On The Train) Hawkins have been getting all the plaudits in the ill-named domestic suspense genre, Liz Nugent has been quietly beavering away, producing dark, mythical thrillers of Shakespearean proportions. There are unreliable heroines, and then there's Delia' The Pool
'It took me two sittings to gobble it up - a page turner. You'll just snap it up and you'll love it. A cracking read' Ryan Tubridy, RTÉ
'The finest psychological thriller writer currently at work - no one gets under the skin of monstrous characters like she does' Tammy Cohen
'A wonderful feat of imagination, totally gripping, with a fascinating character at its heart' Sabine Durrant
'Dark, brutal and brilliant' Colette McBeth
'A triumph, from first page to last!' Sarah Hilary
'Monumentally good. Liz Nugent is a beautiful writer and among the very best storytellers in the world' Donal Ryan
'I loved, loved, loved Skin Deep - the compassion of it, the beauty of the language, how glamour and horror intersect, how the tension twists tighter and tighter and is brilliantly done' Marian Keyes
'Beautifully written and completely gripping' Sunday Mirror
'Dazzling ... chilling, mesmerising and, ultimately, devastating. Pure storytelling genius' Mark Edwards
'Her darkest book yet - a compelling one-sitting read' Sinéad Crowley
'Utterly gripping, fast paced, and featuring my favourite sociopathic female character since Lady Macbeth' Louise O'Neill
'Incredibly dark, twisting and utterly mesmerising - you will not be able to put this down' Sinéad Moriarty
'Pitch dark and thrillingly original' Jane Casey
'Skin Deep will keep you completely gripped' Sunday People

Liz was born in Dublin in 1967, where she now lives. She has written successfully for soap opera, radio drama, television plays, short stories and animation for children.

Liz’s first novel Unravelling Oliver was published to critical and popular acclaim in March 2014. It quickly became a firm favourite with book clubs and reader’s groups. In November of that year, it went on to win the Ireland AM Crime Novel of the Year at the Bord Gais Energy Book Awards and was long listed for the International Dublin Literature Prize 2016. She was also the winner of the inaugural Jack Harte Bursary provided by the Irish Writers Centre and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Dec 2014. Her second novel, Lying in Wait, was published in July 2016 and went straight to number 1 where it remained for seven weeks. Liz won the Monaco Bursary from the Ireland Funds and was Writer in Residence at the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco in Sept/Oct 2016. In Nov 2016, Lying in Wait won the prestigious RTE Ryan Tubridy Listener's Choice prize at the Irish Book Awards.

Aside from writing, Liz has led workshops in writing drama for broadcast, she has produced and managed literary salons and curated literary strands of Arts Festivals. She regularly does public interviews and panel discussions on all aspects of her writing.

Find out more at www.liznugent.ie

Twitter @lizzienugent

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