Skin Deep is one of those books with a killer opening, literally. Cordelia wakes up hungover, wondering what to do with the dead body in her flat. To try and give herself time to think, she heads out, looking for food, company and alcohol. As her evening spirals, she starts to realise she has nowhere to turn, nowhere to go and she is out of options.
Where Liz Nugent goes from here is back to the beginning, to the small island off the coast of Ireland that Cordelia (not that she was Cordelia then) grew up on, to a family tragedy that changed her life, and then on through mistake after mistake and bad decision after bad decision till she ends up in a room on the French Riviera and a dead body.
Cordelia is a fascinating character, one with no moral compass, and one who doesn’t care about anyone but herself. She’s the type of character I would normally dislike, and I do, but – for once – this hasn’t put me off a book. Instead, I found myself drawn down a rabbit hole, a life with so many opportunities and so many wasted chances.
It could have all been a bit depressing, but it wasn’t. Liz Nugent has painted an amazing picture of a lost, damaged, woman and spun out a life of lies that I couldn’t help wanting to read. Her writing was wonderful, the story engrossing, and the characters compelling. I loved this book from start to finish. Highly recommended.
About the book….
‘Once I had cleared the bottles away and washed the blood off the floor, I needed to get out of the flat.’
Cordelia Russell has been living on the Côte d’Azur for ten years, posing as a posh English woman fallen on hard times. But her luck is running out.
Desperate to escape her grotty flat and grim reality, Cordelia spends a night at a glittering party. Surrounded by the young, beautiful and privileged she feels her age and her poverty.
As dawn breaks she stumbles home through the back streets. Even before she opens her door she can hear the flies buzzing. It hasn’t taken long for the corpse in her bedroom to commence decomposing …
Publisher: Penguin Ireland
Number of pages: 368
Rating: 5 out of 5
note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.