x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Book review: Under Your Skin gets beneath the surface of death

Sabine Durrant's murder-mystery will keep you guessing till the end.

It takes only a scant few pages to get sucked into Under Your Skin, a tidily written murder mystery with more deep twists and turns than the London Underground and more suspects than the British phone hacking scandal.

This tense novel by Sabine Durrant, a former assistant editor at The Guardian and a former literary editor at The Sunday Times, involves Gaby Mortimer, an English daytime television presenter who discovers the lifeless body of a young woman while on her morning jog. Her long nightmare begins when a smug police detective makes her the prime suspect, forcing her to engage the help of a newspaper reporter who initially wants a scoop but then finds himself quite taken with the flame-haired broadcaster.

While deciding whether to trust the starstruck scribe, Mortimer must also deal with a distant British financier husband, mysterious Polish nannies and their lovers, an overly effusive best friend and a fastidious Filipina maid. Just when you think you've figured out who among the international cast has committed the crime, the reader's confident resolve is spirited away into the murky London fog.

If a murder mystery is judged on how soon one solves the literary puzzle, then Under Your Skin scores quite well - at the very least, nine bodies out of ten.