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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Skin Deep by Liz Nugent. 

Cordelia Russell has been living on the Côte d'Azur for 10 years, posing as an English heiress. Now her money is gone, and her luck is running out. Desperate to escape her grotty flat and grim reality, Cordelia spends a decadent night at the Negresco. But surrounded by the young, beautiful and privileged, she feels her age and her poverty. 

As dawn breaks, she stumbles home through the backstreets. 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.... 

Liz Nugent's novel is the dark, twisted and shocking story of what takes Cordelia from an island childhood in Ireland to ruin in Nice. 

©2018 Liz Nugent (P)2018 Penguin AudioBooks

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I Had To Go All The Way To Get Skin Deep!

Liz Nugent is one to watch, or rather listen to! The prologue to this sets up an intrigue similar to her previous book Unravelling Oliver which was genuinely outstanding. This one then takes a different approach with a largely linear journey from a little girl's childhood to that intriguing opening scene and on to a very powerful climax. For much of the book the journey feels quite predictable even if it is tough. It's hard living in the mind of a character like Cordelia . . . if you don't find it so then please don't add me as a friend on Goodreads because you're one scary person :-)

The quality of the writing draws you in though and it's like a car crash, you know you shouldn't look but of course you do. When you plan that fantasy dinner party of literary characters and you put the likes of Atticus Finch next to Jud Crandall I doubt you will imagine writing out a place card for Cordelia Russell. She leaves a trail of wreckage in her wake and it's steady yet potent drama throughout. She's a strong character who is bound to cause a reaction.

It's only coming up to the very end though that you realise that the story up to then is simply a velvet glove covering an iron fist. And believe me Nugent punches damn hard with that thing with her story's ending. Seriously powerful and quite moving.

The narration, Annette Flynn I assume channels the lead very well and having brief interludes from some of the other key characters works effectively to break things up and offer some contrast.

This is a strong drama and the repeated theme of ripples in the sea generating tidal waves of destruction continues throughout and could almost be the motif of this book. Unlike the previous book which kept me guessing to the end this one lulled me into thinking it was all a tiny bit staid until I realised the trap that Liz Nugent had set me . . . I walked right into it!

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

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Captivating.

A very unusual storyline that kept me enthralled until the very last chapter.
Excellently written and narrated.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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An engrossing story of an eventful life

The author seems to be drawn to create central characters with whom one feels little sympathy and Delia/Cordelia is no exception. As I found with her previous book, Unravelling Oliver, the story starts with a dramatic prologue that presages what happens later, but then, for quite a few chapters the pace slackens and the back-story is revealed. At first I thought this was going to be more like an Edna O’Brian novel about the life of a spirited young Irish girl, however, it soon develops in something much darker as Delia evolves from being adored daughter of a doting father into Cordelia the ruthless manipulator of men. She is blessed, and cursed, by being exceptionally beautiful. Soon she leaves a trail of destruction of other people’s lives as the story gets more engrossing and event is piled upon event. Although she is in many ways utterly cold-hearted and selfish I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her at times as she copes with the ups and downs of her extraordinary life. A story of a plucky survivor with a final dramatic and unexpected ending.

Most of the story is ably carried by the voice of Delia, but other narrators add the perspective of the other characters.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant! I need ner next one now.

Liz Nugent has now become one of my favourite writers. She is such a great storyteller. She draws me in from the beginning, and I read every word with relish and anticipation. This is the first review I have bothered to do, although I have read many brilliant books with audible, together with my kindle.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Beauty is skin deep...but ugly goes to the bone..

What did you like most about Skin Deep?

The story never flags, and the narration is excellent.

What other book might you compare Skin Deep to, and why?

Sweet Pea by CJ Skuse and Maestra by LS Hilton - all have strong female characters.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

Delia.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wild Atlantic

Wonderful to listen to. Gripped to the very end. The shallow, cruel, narcisstic personality contrasted against a rich and wild backdrop.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Full marks for Liz Nugent

What did you like most about Skin Deep?

I found the book compulsive, easy listening. I listened to it over 2 days whilst doing a tedious job and it made the job less of a trial. Very well produced by the multiple narrators who enhanced the story. I felt a little sympathy at times for the main character, but she is ultimately vile.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow. Just wow

I’m a Liz Nugent fan but she has excelled herself with this book. The main character is a ghastly person but you still want to hear her story. It’s impossible to stop listening as Delia’s story covers time and locations. There are several twists towards the end. I thought I’d guessed the outcome but I was so wrong.
I can’t rate this book, or it’s narration, highly enough.
And I can’t wait for the next Liz Nugent book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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another great story by Lyz Nugent

Ms Nugent never disappoint! I wish she could write a book a week to keep up with my listening!!!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Amazing!!!

Couldn’t stop listening. Best book I’ve ever heard . Lots of twists and a fantastic narrator. Brilliant