UNDER MY SKIN by Sarah Dunant


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 London p.i. Hannah Wolfe's third adventure (Fatlands, 1994, etc.) looks at first like a simple case of sabotage out at well- kept Castle Dean, a women's spa owned by Olivia Marchant: one client parboiled in the sauna, a second dyed indigo by her bathwater, a third nearly scarred by some nails in a massage brush. But once Hannah has run down the saboteur--a neat bit of detective work on its own--the mystery keeps deepening. Who was the paymaster the culprit couldn't identify, and why was he or she out to get not only Olivia but her husband, peerless plastic- surgeon Maurice Marchant? The answers don't come in time to prevent Maurice's murder, and Hannah's adventures among the most likely suspects--the few clients Maurice's miraculous knife couldn't satisfy--leave her more depressed than enlightened. It isn't until she sees the parallel between the Marchant case and the case of her sister Kate's troubled marriage that Hannah discovers the final unpleasant answer--and then, inevitably, the answer beyond that. Under the nervous glow of Hannah's flippant speaking voice, and behind the somewhat ungainly mystery she's asked to solve, lies the steady, lacerating force of an insight into the beauty industry that's as surgically precise as the Pygmalion's touch of Maurice Marchant.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-684-81521-4
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1995


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