‘Under your Skin’ by Rose McClelland

‘Under your skin’ is Rose McClelland’s first foray into writing psychological thriller’s and is a compelling journey through the all too believable extraordinary life of her characters. 

‘Under your skin’ came out during the Pandemic in 2020, and is Rose’s fourth book, but her first entry in this genre, it is a major departure from the ‘chick lit’ themes of her previous three books. I don’t know if Rose has any plans to make this part of a series, but, it reads perfectly as a stand alone book, though there is room to expand it into a series, as I can see that Detective Kerry Lawlor and Detective Inspector Simon Peters may have many more cases for us to discover. 

Set in modern day Belfast, the premise of this book revolves around the protagonist Hannah going missing and the complications and unexpected events that result from that. We also get to meet her husband Kyle, Detective Inspector Simon Peters, Detective Kerry Lawlor, and Julia, all of whom are involved in the #FindHannah campaign. As in all Police Investigations, you should never presume anything. 

The first line in the book is “999, what’s your emergency?”, and not a single word after that opening is wasted, as you are straight into the drama, which does not stop until the very final word. I enjoyed reading this book and finished it in one day as I could not leave it alone, I needed to know what happened next! Did they catch their guy? Where is she? What the hell is that woman thinking!? Wow, I didn’t see that coming! There is a great twist in this book, which I really enjoyed.

This book is incredibly well written and is for anyone who likes psychological thrillers, detective novels or just some entertaining and easy reading. One of the strong points that I enjoyed about this book, is that the story is set in ordinary situations with characters that you will recognise from your own experiences. The events around which the whole story pivots are frighteningly normal, honest and incredibly plausible. The difficult subjects referred to in this book are broached in a very upfront and unvarnished manner. Most of the characters are likeable and relatable and the situations have been well researched and are faithful to the reality they represent. I found the conclusion satisfying as it left no loose ends. 

Rose McClelland has also written two plays and you can see the influence of playwriting in this novel, as her descriptions are clear, concise and without waffle. There was an in treating use of short chapters and each chapter been a different characters view point. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to buying the next in the series, if there is one. I had not read any of Rose’s previous work, so did not know what to expect, but, I am a fan of this genre and was delighted to discover a new author. I highly recommend this book. 

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