Beneath The Skin – Nicci French – Genre – Crime / Thriller
Blurb: Zoe, Jennifer and Nadia are three women with nothing in common. Except for the man who wants to kill them.
He sends them terrifying letters, full of the intimate details of their lives – and promises that he will bring those lives to a violent, horrible end. But not before he has enjoyed himself.
Invisible and apparently unstoppable, he delights in watching the women suffer, thrilled by his power to leave them utterly helpless, alone in their terror and confusion.
Except they’re not all as helpless as he thinks . . .
Zoe, a pretty blonde schoolteacher. Jenny, a former hand model turned model wife and mother. Nadia, an irrepressible free spirit who entertains at children’s parties. Three women living in different parts of London, grappling with different problems, sheltering different dreams–their lives and narratives linked only by the singular madness of a sadistic stalker. As they move slowly through the sweltering heat of summer, someone is sending these women letters that let each know she is being watched, studied and loved from afar–even unto death.
Beneath the Skin is a spooky, highly effective psychological thriller. Initially, the women refuse, as do the police, to take the threats seriously–they are happy, they are inviolable; surely these letters are the work of a harmless crank. But the novel watches Zoe, Nadia and Jenny move from blithely insouciant denial, to frustration, to creeping terror, and finally to the stark realisation that neither they nor anyone else will prevent this killer from destroying them. French skilfully evokes the insidiousness with which the letters invade the women’s lives, straining and shattering relationships, pushing each toward fearful insanity. Perhaps the novel’s greatest appeal lies in its mordant irony: not only do the stalker’s threats push and fester “beneath the skin”, but they also draw out the flaws and terrors that are already there. French sketches the women’s weaknesses and fears with merciless accuracy, stripping them naked long before the killer arrives to finish what his letters have begun.
Nicci French is the pseudonym for the writing partnership of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. The couple are married and live in Suffolk. There are eleven other bestselling novels by Nicci French: The Memory Game, The Safe House, Killing Me Softly, Beneath the Skin, The Red Room, Land of the Living, Secret Smile, Catch Me When I Fall, Losing You, Until It’s Over and What To Do When Someone Dies, all published by Penguin.
My Review: This is my first book by Nicci French and I listened to it via Audible. A beautifully, descriptive story which transports you into the story with each minute detail. This is a chillingly gripping tale of 3 different women stalked by an obsessive man determined to kill them. The book is divided into 3 parts, each narrated by the women being stalked. Deliciously dark and disturbing. l loved it.