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Someone Else’s Skin

Some secrets keep you safe, others will destroy you…

Detective Inspector Marnie Rome. Dependable; fierce; brilliant at her job; a rising star in the ranks. Everyone knows how Marnie fought to come back from the murder of her parents, but very few know what is going on below the surface. Because Marnie has secrets she won’t share with anyone.

But then so does everyone. Certainly those in the women’s shelter Marnie and Detective Sergeant Noah Jake visit on that fateful day. The day when they arrive to interview a resident, only to find one of the women’s husbands, who shouldn’t have been there, lying stabbed on the floor.

As Marnie and Noah investigate the crime further, events begin to spiral and the violence escalates. Everyone is keeping secrets, some for survival and some, they suspect, to disguise who they really are under their skin.

Now, if Marnie is going to find the truth she will have to face her own demons head on. Because the time has come for secrets to be revealed…


“A stunning debut from a major new crime-writing talent” –  Mark Billingham

“It’s written with the verve and assurance of a future star and deserves to be a big hit” – Steven Dunne

“It has such pace and force. It’s very disturbing and builds up to a terrific climax” – Helen Dunmore

“A slick, stylish debut. And one that certainly got under my skin” –  Sharon Bolton, author of Now You See Me

“This was a great read.  Intelligently and fluently written with a clever plot and an energetic pace, dealing with harrowing topics and shot through with humanity. I really look forward to reading the next installment.” – Cath Staincliffe

“It’s meaty, dark and terrifying. Unflinchingly violent and beautifully big-hearted in equal measure. And Sarah’s writing is glorious – she tells us things in new ways, gives us a fully fleshed, sensual world to inhabit for the novel.” – Julia Crouch author of Cuckoo

‘A truly engrossing read from an exceptional new talent. Hilary writes with a beguiling immediacy that pulls you straight into her world on the first page and leaves you bereft when you finish. Intelligent, emotional and totally unexpected in terms of where it goes. I truly loved this book.’ – Alex Marwood author of The Wicked Girls

“Every other page has a line I wish I’d thought of myself.  It’s the best crime debut I’ve ever read.” – Erin Kelly author of The Poison Tree

“Sarah Hilary’s impressive debut, Someone Else’s Skin, introduces Detective Inspector Marnie Rome. The book’s central theme is domestic violence, which Hilary handles unflinchingly with force and passion. DI Rome is an appealing creation.” – The Times

“As well as functioning as a well-honed police procedural, this is very much a novel of character — Marnie Rome in particular is strikingly well realised, and even such issues as domestic abuse are responsibly incorporated into the fabric of the novel. Someone Else’s Skin is a book that hits the ground running, and readers will be keen to see more of the tenacious Marnie Rome.” – Barry Forshaw, Crime Time

“I’m always on the lookout for a new name in crime fiction. Sarah Hilary’s SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN is the first outing for DI Marnie Rome. She’s a determined woman with a tragic past.” –  Great reads, Woman and Home 

“I think it must be one of the debut novels of next year, if not THE debut novel… (It will be if there is any justice in the world!)” – Caro Ramsay

‘I finished it today and it’s completely brilliant, complex, thrilling, brutal, tender, scary and intriguing. What a great book. The pacing is superb, the plot is compelling, the characters are so well drawn. The ending is ingenious’ – Richard Jones of Bristol Review of Books

“Even if you’re not a massive crime fiction fan, you should definitely give Someone Else’s Skin a go – it might just convert you! Sarah Hilary has come up with an outstanding page-turner that will keep you up all night wanting to get to the end!” – The Sun

“This unflinching tale will get under everyone’s skin.” – Sunday Mirror

“Utterly creepy, without being gratuitous, and an exciting start to what is intended to become a series about Rome.” – The Observer

“Hilary’s an amazing new talent in crime fiction – and boy has she made a brilliant debut with this cracker.” –Peterborough Telegraph

“A thinking woman’s whodunit, Questions preconceived ideas about domestic abuse.” – Irish Examiner

“there’s an accomplished writer learning her trade here and it richly deserves to succeed” – Daily Mail

“It’s being called the crime debut of the year and I agree. It’s a simply superb read – dark and thrilling.” – The Sun

“A novel with a difference…Hilary maintains all her characters with real depth and feeling.” – The Independent

“an intelligent, assured and very promising debut” – Laura Wilson, The Guardian

“Fans of Val McDermid and Ian Rankin will love this tremendous debut.  SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN puts Sarah Hilary and DI Marnie Rome squarely on the map.  A gripping, disturbing examination of domestic violence with gravitas in spades, this book haunts you well after it’s finish.” – Julia Spencer-Fleming, bestselling author of THROUGH THE EVIL DAYS

“In this excellent novel readers will learn a good deal about these shelters and why we need them; and that one can escape personal terrors only by confronting them.” – Jessica Mann, Literary Review

Someone Else’s Skin is jarring, thrilling and disturbing and Hilary should be congratulated for capturing the tone that makes for successful crime fiction so early in her career. However, her ability to work at a ‘quick, easy-read’ level whilst also exploring deeper, thought-provoking issues such as the duplicity of private lives  is the truly commendable quality behind this book.” – Crime Time Magazine

“[Hilary]skillfully interweaves multiple viewpoints on the way to the mystery’s unsettling conclusion.” –Publishers Weekly

“A superb debut and an impressive new cop-heroine, modern, passionate and mixed-up.” – Saturday Review, The Times

 “…a really compelling read, as well as a tough, unflinching look at all the issues surrounding domestic violence. ” – Jenefer Shute, author of LIFE-SIZE

“Wallow in the gripping misery of a modern day women’s refuge in SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN by Sarah Hilary although it might make you think twice when picking up the bread knife.” – Felicity Gerry, The Times, Festive Picks

Online and Blogger reviews

“Whilst not for the faint-hearted, this is a cracking read and comes well recommended for its characters, plotting and rich scene setting. I think the balance between creative storytelling and rational detective work is well achieved by a highly accomplished writer.” – Manifesto Books

“I flew through the pages, Sarah Hilary‘s incredibly assured debut, Someone Else’s Skin. Each of the characters has something to offer. It’s this attention to detail that makes this book stand out.” – SJI Holliday,One Word At A Time

“The plot of Someone Else’s Skin is intricate and cleverly constructed, with gasp-worthy twists and a pace which kept me awake far too long on a school-night. Sarah’s writing is evocative and sharply focused. A brilliant début.” – Claire Mackintosh

“The opening chapters grab you by the throat and take you on a fast paced journey; putting you through emotional hell as we discover horrific murders, domestic abuse and psychological torment, until the final satisfying page. On the basis of this first novel Sarah Hilary was born to write and she is definitely a name to look out for.” –

“A really enjoyable, fast paced and well written detective book, we look forward to more from DI Rome.” –Women’s Way

“Finding new voices in the crime world is always difficult, there are so many launched every year. But to my mind, Sarah Hilary looks like the real deal. This unsettling and carefully plotted mystery introduces DI Marnie Rome – an instantly winning central character …. Fresh and invigorating, this is the start of something big.” –NetGallery, Top Ten of the New Year

“I knew this debut would be one to watch for and I wasn’t wrong. If this doesn’t hit a best seller list and/ or get made into a wonderful BBC crime drama I will be very, very surprised…” – Ink Ashlings

“This was a brilliant read…I for one thoroughly loved this protagonist as well as the reassurance that the crime genre still has a lot to offer its readers.” – Cleopatra Loves Books (5 starred review)

“Someone Else’s Skin is a skilful and arresting novel which deserves massive success. I would strongly recommend it to fans of the genre.” –

“Someone Else’s Skin is unusual, powerful and very touching. It turns upside down all your expectations and blows them sky-high. This is a blistering debut from an exceptional writer that cleverly subverts all the reader’s assumptions and leaves them thoroughly uncomfortable and totally wrung-out.” –

Sarah Hilary’s writing is brilliant, she keeps the story moving along at a fabulous pace and there’s never a dull moment. It’s perfectly judged in every way.” –

“A penetrating and riveting read, tension continues to intensify before it ultimately and devastatingly snaps. This is an impressive debut novel that will leave you yearning for a sequel.” – debut of the month,

“Impressively thought-out, satisfyingly realistic and complete with twists and turns to make your jaw drop, Marnie is certainly no Miss Marple, and boy are we glad of it.” –

“Someone Else’s Skin is a book about family, deception, misdirection and misunderstanding and it will certainly keep you on your toes….a dazzling debut novel which will beguile and confound you every step of the way.” – (5 starred review)

“This debut novel is a crime story with a dark, dark soul….It’s beautifully written and sharply edged, with characters that are intensely human. A very compelling and thoughtful read!” – Gateshead Libraries

“I would totally recommend Someone Else’s Skin to any crime fiction fan. It makes a great reading and it goes beyond what you expect in crime fiction, or rather, what we have grown accustomed to expect.” –

“Great characters keep the reader invested in this taut mystery. They were compelling.  Pick this one up, it tells an interesting story filled with remarkable characters.”  -Deon Stonehouse, Staff Review,

“If this first entry is anything to go by, Hilary’s sense of plot and subtle character building will make the DI Marnie Rome series one to watch. “ – Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm

“From the intense prologue to the dramatic conclusion, Hilary has produced an impressive series debut. The character-driven plot creates an appropriately paced story, detailing the horrific realities of domestic abuse.” – (four starred review)

“A impressive debut crime novel with an intelligent and clever plot introducing a new DI on the block, Marnie Rome. I was engrossed and gripped by the intrigue as we raced towards a terrific climax.” –, Chosen by: Sheila O’Reilly, bookseller at Dulwich Books

Hilary has shown herself to be skilled at on-the-edge-of-your-seat writing, but also imbuing her sentences with warmth, humanity and beauty at the most unexpected moments. A true master of her art, and this is only her debut. A tautly written, disturbing but ultimately compassionate novel.” –

“Sarah Hilary has crafted a tight, nasty mystery. Someone Else’s Skin shakes up any preconceived notions you might have regarding domestic abuse.” –

‘Rich with psychological insight, edge-of-the-seat plotting and clever criminal detection.’ Thriller Books Journal

Sarah Hilary has worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. Her debut, Someone Else's Skin, won Theakstons Crime Novel...