Under my Skin is one of the best psychological thrillers I have read this year.
Welcome to #MurderandMeyhemMonday where we explore the deeper, darker side of literature.
Lisa Unger has created a maze that both captivated and surprised me with her latest thriller, Under My Skin.
Poppy, a talented and successful media specialist and photographer, is recovering from the murder of her husband in a what appeared to be a “random act of violence.” After his murder, which never was solved, she had a breakdown and was hospitalized. All that she remembers of that time is the day of the murder and waking up in the hospital. Her best friend found her in a red party dress, very shaken and disheveled. That was nearly a year ago. Now Poppy is beginning to have disturbing dreams, flashbacks and, perhaps, hallucinations. She is taking sleeping pills, anxiety medication and mixing it with alcohol. Her life is a wreck and who is to say that what she is seeing or experiencing isn’t the product of her pills and alcohol? These are the questions that hang over the entire book. To say that Poppy is an unreliable narrator is a complete understatement. As readers, we are left to decide what is real and what might be a figment of Poppy’s imagination.
With the help of a detective who barely believes her and Noah, who may or may not be her stalker, Poppy attempts to unravel her past and, hopefully, uncover clues about her husband’s murder. What she discovers may not be what she wants to find.
Under My Skin has every element of a true psychological thriller: unreliable narrator, psychological trauma, never-ending mind games and a lot of action. What Unger does well is delving deeper into the personalities of her characters. We know what they are thinking, how they feel, the relationships that they have with the characters in the book and how those relationships make or made them as a person. Poppy’s relationships, ultimately, will be the deciding factor in the climactic and surprising ending.
I immensely enjoyed reading Under My Skin, finished it in less that a day and loved every minute of it. It is a labyrinth that has you running circles and second guessing what you – and Poppy – thought was real. It also features quite a bit of Carl Jung’s dream theories and, for me, that was like icing on the cake. I’m a huge Jung fan! If you like real psychological thrillers, suspense or murder mysteries, then this is a book for you.
Thank you @Edelweiss, @LisaUnger and @ParkRowBooks for my copy of Under My Skin, publish date October 2, 2018.