I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for Skin Deep by Liz Nugent as part of the blog tour today. First of all though let’s take a look at the description for the book…
‘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 . . .
Well I have to start my review by saying what a brilliant opening and a fabulous way to introduce a character and what a character Cordelia is! There are so many layers to her and the best thing is that she is unlikeable and I loved that! You get to see her early life and perhaps see some of those experiences and other things in her life that impacted on who she became.
Now I’m going to try and be as vague as I can regarding the plot but what I will say is that I was taken on quite a journey and held completely captive by Liz Nugent’s writing. With a cleverly crafted plot that kept me on my toes waiting to see how it would all end! Skin Deep has a very dark edge that sets this book apart with manipulations and lies around every corner.
I loved how I went through so many emotions while reading this book and this just shows you how intriguing Cordelia’s character is. I felt sadness, anger and a whole range of different emotions as I got to know her, even if at times I may not have wanted to get to know her so much. As I said earlier I can’t help but love a book with an unlikeable character at its heart but saying that there has to be some depth there too something that I can try to understand and get a feel for. I would say that Liz Nugent has created the perfect combination in Cordelia and I’m sure that this character and book will stay with me for quite a while.
Skin Deep is at times captivating, shocking and surprising but above all things compelling!
With thanks to Georgia at Penguin Random House for my copy and tour invite.
Liz was born in Dublin, where she now lives with her husband, musician and sound engineer Richard McCullough.
Liz first began to write for broadcast in 2003. Between 2003 and 2013, she worked as a Story Associate on the popular television soap opera Fair City. She had several pieces accepted for Sunday Miscellany, a radio series on RTE Radio 1 specialising in nostalgic autobiographical writing.
Subsequently, she had two children’s stories accepted by the Fiction 15 series for the same broadcaster.
In 2006, her first short story for adults, Alice, was shortlisted for the Francis McManus Short Story Prize.
Liz went on to write a children’s animation series called The Resistors for TG4. Her half-hour drama, The Appointment was one of four winners chosen to be broadcast live on TG4 in the Seomra Sé series.
Liz’s radio drama, Appearances, represented Ireland at the New York Festivals in 2008.
She was the winner of an EATC bursary and writing workshops in Geneva and Berlin for pilot episode of drama series Campus in 2007.
Liz’s first novel Unravelling Oliver was published to critical and popular acclaim in Ireland 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 Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish 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 released in July 2016. It went straight to number 1 in the Irish Bestseller lists, remaining there for nine weeks and spent eight months in the top ten.
In September 2016, liz was awarded the Ireland Funds Monaco bursary and went to Monaco for a month to write in the Princess Grace Irish library.
In November 2016, Lying in Wait won the RTE Ryan Tubridy Show Listener’s Choice Award at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards. The book was also shortlisted in the Crime Fiction category. It has been long listed for the Dublin International Literary Award 2018.
Lying in Wait was chosen as part of the Spring 2017 list for the very prestigious Richard & Judy Book Club in the UK. In April 2017, Lying in Wait was the winner of the Reader’s Choice Award of the Richard & Judy Spring List.
Liz is absolutely thrilled that Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster USA published Unraveling Oliver in 2017 with Lying in Wait scheduled for publication in 2018. She is very pleased to be in the editorial hands of Jackie Cantor. Unraveling Oliver was chosen for the BEA Book Buzz panel at Book Expo in June 2017
Liz was honoured to win the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year award in Literature in October 2017.
Lying in Wait will be published in the U.S. in June 2018.
Her third novel, Skin Deep is published by Penguin books in the UK and Ireland in Spring 2018
Aside from writing, Liz has led workshops in writing drama for broadcast, she has produced and managed literary salons, interviewed other writers and curated the literary strand of Skibbereen Arts Festival in July 2016.