Don’t you hate it when the last 50 pages of a novel derail the whole damn thing? Sabine Durrant had me 100% hooked on Under Your Skin almost up until the end — which infuriated me (particularly since I was reading it as an e-book and couldn’t fling it across the room).
So Gaby Mortimer is a pretty successful woman: hosts a daytime talk show, married to an equally-successful businessman, has a little girl. She’s not quite happy — she kind of hates her job, her marriage seems rocky, she doesn’t really have any friends — but she soldiers on in her fancy clothes and enormous house. Then one day, while out for a run, she stumbles across a dead body — a young woman (who kind of looks like her) who has been strangled and abandoned in a pile of leaves. Gaby calls the police, of course, and tries to move on. But she can’t — the police suspect her, and Gaby’s worried that the actual killer may target her next.
So most of the novel is basically, unjustly accused woman hunts down the killer on her own. We watch as Gaby’s life falls apart — she’s asked not to return to work, her husband basically disappears on a business trip, she sends her daughter away to protect her from the media that wait outside the door. Meanwhile, she’s trying to figure out who the dead girl is, and why certain clues do point at Gaby as the killer.
A lot of things bugged me during the course of the novel, but I set them aside because the plot was pretty good. For instance, the whole thing where Gaby can’t/won’t let her husband know what’s going on — it seems very contrived. And then she has this weird Polish girl as a nanny who she can’t seem to communicate with, who she worries might hate her, but can’t figure out why. It’s all very bizarre, but like I said — mostly forgivable because the mystery element was pretty good.
Then the author revealed the killer, and I screamed at my e-reader.