Beneath The Skin

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Beneath The Skin* by Sandra Ireland came to me at precisely the right time. I’m a bit lost with reading at the moment due to a feeling that I should spend my free time reading academic texts instead of a thriller or romance novel. Do other students feel like that or is it just me who is plagued with guilt?

I recently finished The Girl On The Train which was fucking fantastic, kudos to Paula Hawkins for that effort and I was fancying another thriller to sink my teeth into. Described as a thriller, I gave Beneath The Skin a whirl and now I’m in two camps about it. Here’s why.

The setting of the scene is great and the moment I met all of the principal characters (Walt, Alys and Mouse) you just know there is something not right going on. I was instantly intrigued by each of the characters and the story began to unroll mysteriously. The plot was left for you to entangle, as each chapter grew to a close, I had learnt a little more but was also asking more and different questions.

I like that in a book, I like to be challenged and to be thinking throughout. Especially in a thriller because that is what you sign up for with a thriller, you sign up for surprises. This book definitely delivered on that front. I was learning a lot but I was also not learning a lot which meant every reveal was a bit of a shock for me.

So in the terms of captivating the reader, this book gets big ticks from me. I was hooked, there was so much mystery surrounding the characters and things kept happening that I couldn’t explain.

But then it all sort of fell apart towards the end. It still had a satisfying ending and I did really like the concept of the twist, it worked perfectly and explained a lot.

However, I didn’t feel the way the ending happened did it justice. It happened all too fast and glossed over so many important details and everything felt a bit rushed. This disappointed me as I felt a bit let-down (similar but not as bad when I finished The Girls by Lisa Jewell).

I hate it when endings aren’t wrapped up properly or aren’t carried out to the same degree as the rest of the book. The rest of the book was so brilliantly descriptive and mysterious and the ending was so dull and lacked intensity compared to the rest. Which is a shame because it should have been the most intense part.

It did, however, leave a bit of a cliffhanger at the end and I would definitely read the follow-up novel if there is one to come.

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