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Publisher's 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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What listeners say about Skin Deep

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Managed to listen to 2 hours

Too depressing to continue. Judging by the other negative reviews I haven't missed anything by not finishing.

2 people found this helpful

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Intense

Wow what a story. Was quite dark & sometimes hard to continue listening to, but I found compelled to keep listening to find out how & what happened.

2 people found this helpful

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Great story--good characterisation

This book seems to have polarised readers, alienating those who found the characters unlikeable. i can see that it wouldn't appeal to those who want a more black and white approach but IMO they are missing the strength of a story that captures well the effects of dysfunctional, neglectful and abusive parenting on children as they [struggle to] grow up and function as adults. i enjoyed the development of the character of Delia who was deeply flawed but clearly a product of the violence of her childhood.

i was completely drawn into the story, which is a cracking, character-driven adventure. It is not 'literary' in the sense that the language is straightforward, but is well constructed and not without depth -- given the author's grasp of the way that narcissistic and emotionless personalities are formed. The way that characters interact is well handled, as is the plotting. i also thought that the focus on "damaged" people in the relationships that emerge later in the story was an interesting theme.

5 stars for pace and enjoyability. I lopped one off as there are some weak points -- notably the retelling of episodes from different protagonist's pov. The viewpoints of Chiara and Peter are flat and one-dimensional, adding nothing to the story or characterisation. Tom's viewpoint at least adds one fact-- but in general this device is not well used.

1 person found this helpful

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Could not put it down

Was hooked from the first paragraph. Kept me guessing the whole way through. Great Ending!

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Got drawn into it

It certainly wasn't what I expected, but I found I had to listen to the whole book, it was that well written. First time I can remember being that hooked into a book when I thoroughly disliked the main character as she didn't seem to have any redeeming features.

1 person found this helpful

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shit ending, just a book about daddy issues borin

just a book about daddy issues, boring !! I was waiting the whole book for something interesting to happen......anything but no.

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Soooo not my cup of tea either...

I don’t understand the author’s concept for this novel as there is nothing to like about the main character Delia, she has no redeeming qualities and her manipulative personality is abhorrent.
I didn’t enjoy this book at all, though I persevered to the end, hoping there would be some glimmer of redemption, there wasn’t!

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I feel depressed!

I actually listened to the whole book just to find a single moment of happiness for one of the characters, so let me tell you there's no happy ending for any character. Not even the unimportant by-the-way characters. Every single character in this book is a misery. Not kidding, not lying and no exaggeration. I feel like necking myself from a bridge. Screw it... just shoot me now.

Narration is excellent, though.

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Not what I was expecting

I thought this was a thriller. Its not. It is a compelling story that is hard to stop listening to. However it is also a deeply disturbing, depressing story. The writing style is so good I did finish the book however it was a struggle due to the content. A heartless, hideous main character... lots of sad characters actually. The main narrator did an amazing job.

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A great tale

A slow start but very much worth the persistence. Loved the unexpected little character insights

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Profile Image for Philandera hates washing up
  • Philandera hates washing up
  • 30-07-2018

Wow this is such a gripping story and I’m hard to please

At last a story with a real character not some morally perfect good person..but a person I don’t even like very much yet I’m gripped to know the outcome like I’ve never been gripped before..I’ll now devour all books by this author as I always do when I find a writer that doesn’t bore me. A book that grips me from the first intro to the last to the point my life stops and I disappear into the plot and lose myself...this is one to listen to. Not finished it yet but LOVInG IT also brilliantly narrated. Five stars for everything.

15 people found this helpful

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  • ruthraemoir
  • 11-04-2018

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.

14 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Ninecatz
  • Ninecatz
  • 14-04-2018

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.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-07-2019

All I can say is this book deserves ten stars!

LIz nugent is a truly gifted story teller. what a talent. It was a magical read from start to finish!

7 people found this helpful

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  • T. Williams
  • 04-05-2018

Some overarching subtleties that should not be overlooked...

So many reviewers have already given superb write-ups that I want to focus on a different aspect.

This is to do with the men in Delia’s life. From her father, to Alan, Harry, Peter, Freddie and pretty every man bar James and Connor, Delia is used and abused. Yes she is spiteful. Yes she lacks empathy. And yet she loved her father, she tried to do the right thing be her definition by Christian, Freddie, and so on. Yes she was selfish but evidently suffering ptsd, post natal depression and alcoholism. Despite her deviousness, she had warmth, but lacked the understanding and care for others arguably because of the men in her life. And the bitter secrets.

Her father was an abuser and violent to her mother. He also manipulated Delia and turned her into a narcissistic daddies girl. Tom was shameful for not sticking up for Delia’s mother due to his own selfish reasons, and for enabling and turning a blind eye to his lovers violence.

Harry, Peter, their father and her adoptive father all blamed her for everything that went wrong in their lives, with complete lack of insight to their own flaws and shallow choices in being swayed by her beauty/ using her as a pawn in revenge. Even when the women involved tried to make them see sense and allow an abortion - something Delia actually wanted, Alan’s spitefulness and sense of revenge won over. Christian stole her money, beat her, and attempted to pimp her out, and Freddie constantly told her she was ugly and disfigured and used her as his muse.

Delia inarguably was narcissistic, prone to cruelty, and shallow. Yet she also blocked out a lot of pain and was reduced to an object of beauty and then hatred and ridicule by those around her. Her status as a woman, mother, poor Irish ‘peasant’, disfigured human being always showed the power imbalances inherent in unjust, misogynistic, class based society. Even her father saw her as a breeder, ironically the one thing she definitely was not.

By the end, I felt sorry for deluded Delia, losing all sympathy for all the other characters apart from Moira, Elizabeth, Connor and James.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-04-2018

Wild Atlantic

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

7 people found this helpful

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  • VJ
  • 06-04-2018

Captivating.

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

19 people found this helpful

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  • Weliza
  • 12-04-2018

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 06-04-2018

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!

32 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Julie Edmonds
  • Julie Edmonds
  • 10-10-2018

Good story spoilt by no likeable characters

This is the third Liz Nugent book I've read and not sure I will bother with any more. I loved the first one (Lying in Wait) but this one, although the storyline was good, every character in the book was completely unlikeable. Simply couldn't empathise with the main character, not sure if you were meant to. The rest were all as bad and for me it completely spoilt the story. I do like one person I can empathise with but this lot all deserved what they got to be honest.

4 people found this helpful

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