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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

REVIEW: Under My Skin by Lisa Unger @lisaunger @harlequinbooks #allthebookreviews

Under My Skin
by Lisa Unger

Thank you to Park Row for this copy!

Publisher:  Park Row
Publish Date:  October 2, 2018
368 Pages
Genres:  Suspense, Thriller

What if the nightmares are actually memories?

It's been a year since Poppy's husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run through Manhattan's Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into an oblivion of grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn't recognize. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack?

The case was never solved, and Poppy has finally begun to move on. But those lost days have never stopped haunting her. Poppy starts having nightmares and blackouts--there are periods of time she can't remember, and she's unable to tell the difference between what is real and what she's imagining. When she begins to sense that someone is following her, Poppy is plunged into a game of cat and mouse, determined to unravel the mystery around her husband's death. But can she handle the truth about what really happened?

My Review:

Poppy loses her husband to a murderer, goes into a fugue state and now can't figure out if her nightmares are memories or just as they seem - nightmares.  Popping pills to help her sleep are exacerbated by the alcohol intake and just WHO is this hooded figure she sees following her everywhere??

I'll be honest here - I think a book I read recently having to do with sleeplessness and the effects this has on a body/mind made me a bit sour to read another that's somewhat (and only somewhat) in the same vein.

I'm a huge fan of Unger.  She's not the thriller type that throws huge twists into your face and makes you gasp - she's more the subtle, build up of suspense - creating a world where you do get completely immersed.  Poppy's situation caught my attention and I empathized with her a variety of levels.  I most certainly wasn't expecting the ending to go the way that it did and I'm not QUITE sure how I feel about it over all.  

I absolutely loved Ink and Bone and The Red Hunter.  I don't believe I liked Under My Skin quite as much as I did these two others.  However, Unger is still at the top of my list for authors to continually watch and autobuy.

Again, I think maybe it's a bit of a timing issue with me regarding this type of story line.  If you're looking for an unreliable narrator whose view of the world is skewed and we aren't sure what's real and is not... well, the paranoia aspect of this book definitely resonates.


Jessica's Review:

I've only read one other book by Lisa Unger and I loved it! So I was very anxious to see what she had in store for us next. UNDER MY SKIN is another well-written and intricate suspense novel that pulls the readers into the mind of a woman dealing with the loss of her husband.

Poppy's husband is murdered while he out jogging one day, and that puts Poppy in a downward spiral. There was a period of time that she completely lost and still hasn't the slightest idea as to what happened. A year later, Poppy is beginning to get her life back together but that longing for normalcy is disrupted by her recurring nightmares and blackouts. Are these just nightmares? Are they actually memories returning to her from those days she can't account for? Who is this mysterious person that keeps following her?

Unger does a great job setting the scene for us and building the paranoia and suspense. There were some parts that got a little confusing for me, but with an unreliable narrator dealing with a blurred reality, that can sometimes happen! You never truly know who to trust, what's reality and what's fiction, and the pacing is consistent to pull you through the chapters.

For Lisa Unger fans, I would definitely recommend this one. If you're looking for an unreliable narrator and some amped up paranoia, then this is one to have on your fall TBR.

3.5/5 stars

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