Under My Skin

Under My Skin

by Lisa Unger

Overview: Grief leads to self-destructive behavior in this searing psychological thriller from bestseller Unger (The Red Hunter). After Jack Lang is beaten to death while jogging in Manhattan’s Riverside Park early one morning, his widow, Poppy, has a nervous breakdown. A year later, Poppy is getting back to work at the couple’s boutique photography agency, but she still suffers from hallucinations and nightmares. She’s also haunted by a reoccurring vision of a man in a hood that could be related to Jack’s murder. She feels both comforted and suffocated by her mother and her best friend, Layla Van Santen, who worry because she continues to self-medicate with drugs and disappears for days, sometimes with strangers she meets online. Poppy’s search for Jack’s killer is the one thing that gives her focus. Though Poppy’s visions and flashbacks to the Langs’ life together occasionally become repetitious, the fully realized characters keep the plot from lagging. Readers will feel both empathy and sympathy for the driven Poppy.

Carole Zwicker (11/09/18): Previously, I have had the pleasure of reading Lisa Unger novels. As usual, all the elements that make this read enjoyable are there. Under my Skin combines a love story with a terrible loss, flawed characters who are interesting and intriguing, a murder mystery which appears to be unsolvable. Jack and Poppy are a happily married young couple. During his morning jog, Jack is brutally killed. Poppy, under the weight of terrible grief, uses sleeping pills and other drugs with alcolhol for a year, leaving her in a state where she cannot tell reality from bad dreams. During this confused period of time, she is looking for the murderer of her husband. She is helped by her childhood friend Layla and a dedicated detective who does not want to give up. All in all, this is a page-turner of a mystery. I would recommend this to readers who want something different in their thriller booklist.
Rating: *****

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