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Beneath The Skin

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  3,622 Ratings  ·  182 Reviews
"When she laughs, she makes a pealing sound, like a doorbell. If I told her I loved her, she would laugh at me like that. She would think I was not serious. That is what women do. They turn what is serious and big into a small thing, a joke. Love is not a joke. It is a matter of life and death. One day, soon, she will understand that."

Zoe, a pretty blond schoolteacher. Je

Paperback, 359 pages
Published 2000 by Michael Joseph (first published January 1st 1997)
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Community Reviews

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For some reason I always thought Nicci French was a female romance writer, so I always passed her books by when I saw them. Not only was I wrong about the genre, but I recently learned what I thought was a "she" is actually a husband and a wife writing team. Who knew? -(apparently everyone else but me).

BENEATH THE SKIN is a British suspense thriller told from three different points of view:

Part 1 Zoe's story- Zoe is a young teacher in her 20s, and has become a bit of a hero after she stopped a
Nov 27, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes psychological thrillers
What made (makes) this book so beautiful to me is twofold.

1. The casual elegance of the writing. Nicci French (for the purpose of just plain not feeling like typing out two names, I will ignore that this is a pseudonym and just pretend it's one author) is brilliant at sketching characters that feel like real people and for using spare, simple and yet beautiful prose. I really love her style and always have. It's especially evident in her earlier works and now in the Frieda Klein series.

2. The re
Feb 07, 2014 Ola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This is indeed a psychological thriller. One that made me think about connections people have with each other and how people can change in the blink of an eye. Someone who seems trustworthy can turn out to be unbelievably good at acting. I was thoroughly hooked while reading the book. With each part of the book, told through the point of view of 3 different women who are targets of an obsessive stalker, you become closer and closer to finding the culprit and you begin to question the effici ...more
Sep 15, 2008 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nicci French Readers
I was about 80 pages into this book and rather enjoying it when I happened to read the jacket. It summarized that this was the story of three girls all targeted for murder with little in common. I was still on the story of the first girl and quickly realized from the jacket description that she was going to die. So, she died and then I started the story of the second girl. It was tough to get through because I felt like I was rushing through it, knowing that she would die because a third girl wo ...more
Graham Dinton
Aug 19, 2012 Graham Dinton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Usually three part novels irritate me. It takes me 50 pages to get into something, then I get to the end of Act 1, and Act 2 is a completely new story and I have to invest that start-up time again. This happened with Beneath the Skin but it was worth it, and by the time I got to Act 3, the pieces fitted together really well.
Three different women, three different viewpoints, each with growing tension from a series of threatening letters with some comedy and sex thrown in. What more do you want? B
Marie Clifton
Sep 24, 2016 Marie Clifton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this, Three women, all targets of a madman stalker who sends creepy notes full of threats.
Police are baffled, they can't find any links, they can't protect the victims and they make big mistakes.
this book is a page turner, i loved the way it was set out, with each woman telling her own story, I felt like a friend and wanted to help. Just how a book should be, making you part of the story
Feb 07, 2016 Maggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great beach or plane read. Clever plot, goes on too long...but worth reading.
B the BookAddict
Mar 02, 2014 B the BookAddict rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: highly recommended
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: my twin
Shelves: fiction

You want to shout at the women: "look out", such is your own level of tension. Creepy to the max but not a spooky creepy - a hair standing up on your arms in alarm creepy. Read this if you dare but make sure you lock the doors and have a big brawny man with you but then again, can you really trust that man????? He may well turn out to be like one of the men in this book. Read this, you'll see what I mean. 4
Jun 23, 2013 N rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I wrote a story in school I finished it with 'and then I died', My Teacher was quick to point out 'so how did you write this?? ' in big red letters. It's stuck with me for 30 odd years and I HATE it when writers do it (spoiler if I go further but you will know it when you see it). Apart from that it's the usual Nicci French thriller that messes with your mind. Good
Robert Beveridge
Nicci French, Beneath the Skin (1999, Warner)

Think of Nicci French as the darker, rougher side of Judith Michael--a collaboration between two folks, one male, one female, on some very nasty mysteries. In this case, the main character (though he gets relatively little screen time) is a serial killer who enjoys stalking his victims, leaving them love notes, outwitting the police, that sort of thing. Your typical above-average-intelligence serial killer. We see him, and the police trying to catch h
Jan 16, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A serial killer targets three women and the book is comprised of the three different stories of these women.
This is not your typical serial killer book because the focus is on the victims and written from each of their points of view.
It made a nice change to see and feel what they did rather than following a detective with his/her own problems and agenda chasing after an elusive killer.
The women were very different and the author captured the different voices perfectly.
Instead of coming away th
Tina Pugh
Oct 16, 2016 Tina Pugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. It would make a good TV series. I liked getting to know the characters and enjoyed the twist as to who was responsible. I did work out who the main killer was. That being said would thoroughly recommend.
May 11, 2016 Elusive rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
In ‘Beneath the Skin’, three women are targeted by a stalker who’s obsessed with them and hell-bent on killing them. As they begin to receive more threatening letters, their downward spiral is inevitable. The question is, can the perpetrator be caught before he claims more victims?

The story was broken down into three segments featuring the three respective victims – Zoe, Jenny and Nadia. Twenty-three-year-old Zoe is a schoolteacher who has recently moved to London. With barely any friends and st
Maggie Kiely
This is my second Nicci French book. It was an ok read but did not feel it was anything special. I think the characters did not engage me. I found Zoe so annoying and out of control from the beginning. It was difficult to reconcile really. She came across as a strong character attacking a robber in the street then she becomes a sniffling wreck. Jenny was an obnoxious person and really did not endear herself to anyone including her own children. Nadia on hearing that someone wants to kill her ins ...more
Sep 27, 2016 Irene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
They are three very different women: Zoe, the pretty blond schoolteacher, Jenny, the former hand model turned model mother and wife, and Nadia, the irrepressible free spirit who entertains at children's parties. They live in different parts of London, grapple with different problems, harbor different dreams. But when they are targeted by a sadistic killer, they become sisters beneath the skin.
Suddenly they all share the same dread when they approach their doorsteps, fall victim to the same risin
Corinna Bub
Jul 09, 2015 Corinna Bub rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Es ist ein brütendheißer Sommer in London, als der "Sommermörder" seine Opfer ausspioniert, terrorisiert und dann tötet. Zoe, Jennifer und Nadia - drei Frauen die unterschiedlicher kaum sein könnten, nur verbunden durch IHN. Drei Frauen und nur eine wird überleben. Er hält sich in ihrer Nähe auf, immer in einer anderen Funktion. Alle drei kennen ihn, erkennen aber nicht die Gefahr die von ihm ausgeht.

Das macht die Geschichte so unheimlich spannend. Der "Sommermörder" hält sich immer in der Nähe
Feb 07, 2015 Mandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I've read most of the books written by Nicci French, and to be honest, I found this one to be a little lacking than some of the others.
It was published a long time ago, 2000 I think, and I don't think there was much lacking in the story. It was just a little less polished than some of the other books by these two authors.
I liked the character of Zoe best. I did not like Jennifer, not at all, and I know that sounds a bit mean but it's how I felt while reading.
I did find the premise a little unner
Christine Blachford
Interesting book this, telling the story of three very different women who are targeted by a psychopath killer. I quite liked that it differed from other Nicci French books in that the police were quite significantly involved in the stories, they didn't just dismiss the problem as they quite often do in these books. Having said that, they still didn't do a very good job!

I think once the killer was revealed to us as readers, then the twist at the end was kind of obvious, but that didn't make it a
Wendy Sice
This was a quick read about three women receiving threatening letters from a predator and the protection they get from the police. The killer is revealed after the second death but I was not convinced by the third part of the story in which one of the women virtually invites him into her home and befriends him. I wouldn't be trusting anyone in a situation like this! Also, it was shown with the first two women that they were most vulnerable when they were alone and yet the third woman went off by ...more
Maria Longley
It's an oppressive summer in London and three women are targeted by love letters that threaten to kill them. The first person narrative gives it all a claustrophobic feel of the world's shrinking with fear, and there's a very clever use of us as readers knowing more than the characters that really helps maintain that tension. (There's also an interesting, and strong, undertow of the sentiment that you are all by yourself and can't rely on anyone else. I can see how this genre lends itself to tha ...more
Carey Combe
Apr 28, 2011 Carey Combe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Totally gripping, tense and unputdownable....
Jan 16, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Creepy and terrifying. Very well written. I ripped through it, but don't think I'd want to read it again.

In a lot of ways it wasn't a novel about a murderer and his victims, it was a novel about the police completely bungling everything up. TOTALLY failing to do anything useful or to protect the women who contacted them for help, because they were too busy trying to cover up how useless they were. That, to me, was the scariest part of the whole thing. I can only hope no police department in real
Sep 13, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full of suspense……

Three separate women are stalked by a psychopath who wants to get to know them better by killing them and enjoys the process of watching them unravel as he plays with them - a real crime thriller. I was definitely creeped out and I had to put it down a few times. I am pleased I persevered as it was worth getting through the goose bump stuff. The conclusion was well thought through and ended up being a story that I couldn't wait to get back to.

Due to the nature of the story the
Aug 07, 2014 Nigel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the way through this book I was trying to think of reasons not to award it five stars. No, it's not a Book thief or a Kite runner, no it hasn't been written by a Sebastian Barry or Justin Cartwright but ultimately it was a brilliantly believable thriller.
I have to say, I normally get incredibly frustrated with inaccurate descriptions of police procedure, poorly constructed characters and lame or unimaginative endings, so I am very pleased to say to anyone willing to listen to my humble ramb
Oct 12, 2016 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whilst I've enjoyed the earlier Nicci French novels, this one is in a different class. Whereas the earlier stories read like good TV thrillers, this is far darker, almost entering Thomas Harris territory. Splitting the story into three separate narrative styles is a risky ploy, but it works well, and the pace is unrelenting. "Nicci French" (a pseudonym for a husband and wife team who co-write) gets better and darker with each publication. Strongly recommended, but not for the faint-hearted.
Apr 16, 2015 Taneeta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- Great storyline. I liked the splitting up of stories, and found that each character (Zoe, Jenny and Nadia) was interesting and different, aside from their short statures. Jenny was a bit annoying at times though, with how lightly she took the idea of somebody threatening her life.

- Pacing. Just as everything seemed to be dying down, the creep shows up and the part ends. And then we're introduced to the next victim. This worked excellently.

- Creepiness level. Probably because I was readi
Not quite what i was expecting, and there for disappointing!

This story is about 3 very different women who are all targeted by the same sick individual who is sending out threatening notes, describing how he is going to kill them. Which is a great foundation for a thriller. I really enjoyed how Nicci French has divided the book into 3 parts, each one telling the story of one of the women on a first hand basis. This allows you to be more in touch with the woman's feelings and thoughts. You really
Apr 02, 2016 Olga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Besides the gripping story line, besides the well formed characters, I can see a common thread in Nicci French books - the system, that supposed to protect main female character, miserably fails and she has to do it herself - investigate, outwit and, ultimately, survive against all odds. I love that - very woman can, to some extend, relate and applaud.
Aug 19, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another page turning thriller by Nicci French, very interesting angle told by the victims of a psychopath while they are being threatened and stalked. The three different women do handle the situation differently, though I think Zoe & Nadia were more similar in their lifestyles, Jennifer/Jenny was totally different in so many ways.
Feb 28, 2016 Houria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is devided to three parts:One for each victim .I personally found the beginning of the first one kind of slow but it gets better through the pages. The second part is by far my favourite, maybe because things get spicier and also because I just looove jennifer ! I also liked the third part because I really do like Nadia even though I don't agree with all the choices she made but she is smart and a fighter and I like that about her!It's also in the third part that you start to put the pi ...more
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  • Alles te verliezen
  • Vrijdag
  • Nieuwe Buren
  • Herfstlied
  • Cruise
  • Stuk
  • The Echo
  • Blood on the Sun (CSI: New York, #2)
  • Solace
Note: (Nicci Gerrard and Sean French also write separately.)

Nicci Gerrard was born in June 1958 in Worcestershire. After graduating with a first class honours degree in English Literature from Oxford University, she began her first job, working with emotionally disturbed children in Sheffield. In that same year she married journalist Colin Hughes.

In the early eighties she taught English Literature
More about Nicci French...

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