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YOU BENEATH YOUR SKIN

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4.36  ·  Rating details ·  249 ratings  ·  218 reviews
It’s a dark, smog-choked new Delhi winter. Indian American single mother Anjali Morgan juggles her job as a psychiatrist with caring for her autistic teenage son. She is in a long-standing affair with ambitious police commissioner Jatin Bhatt – an irresistible attraction that could destroy both their lives.

Jatin’s home life is falling apart: his handsome and charming son
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Paperback, 392 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Simon & Schuster India
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Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  249 ratings  ·  218 reviews


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Melanie Lee
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly compelling read. Damyanti does a wonderful job in world-building and character development. The story is really well-paced and I was fully immersed in the story.
Paul Warburton
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having just read this story, I can report that I enjoyed it immensely. It does a wonderful job of entertaining; however, equally as important, it educates and it raises the consciousness. At times it’s quite searing.

I enjoyed the character development and the easy flow of the narrative, especially the completely natural dialogue, which is always a "make or break" ingredient for me as a reader. The intricacies of the plot are nicely handled and well stitched together.

The story’s underlying
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Shilpa Garg
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC. You Beneath Your Skin grabbed my attention like no other in the recent past. I just sat and turned page after page as the story gripped me from the word go.

The horror, the conflicts, the drama takes you on a dangerous and a thrilling ride. You Beneath Your Skin is a racy-pacy crime thriller with a plot that twists and turns like the alleys of the slums. It takes you into the dark underbelly of India where the poor are mere pawns in the deadly game of power, greed, lust and
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Sarah
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in a cold, smoggy New Delhi that evokes Jack the Ripper's London, this is a thrilling and often surprising read that asks how little we know even the people closest to us. Anjali is a psychiatrist and single mother to teenaged Nikhil, who is on the autism spectrum. She's carrying on a complicated affair with a police officer investigating a series of grisly crimes. The city itself, traffic-clogged and vibrantly bustling, contributes to the tension. The wealthy and poor live in close ...more
Mamta
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A crime thriller that takes its time to build up the suspense and action, but once it does, you are fully gripped, eager to turn the page. It becomes unputdownable soon and you're completely engrossed in the plot. There have been few occasions when I've been so invested in the character's lives. Damyanti Biswas has laid out well the characters such as Anjali Morgan, Jatin Bhatt, and Maya in a manner that draws you in. I especially loved the minute detailing in the book, be it the description of ...more
Rae
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Damyanti Biswas's debut novel is a psychological crime-thriller that takes the reader on a careening journey through the streets and enclaves of New Delhi. The frigid temperatures and heavy smog lend an eeriness to all that unfolds.

The author establishes in some 385 pages the character development of a rather large cast of interconnected characters though the novel centers primarily on Anjali Morgan and Jatin Bhatt.

Anjali is a striking and sophisticated character. She is beautiful, blonde,
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Amisha Bahl Chawla
“Sabke andar daag hotey hain. Pawan’s voice shook. All of us have scars, secrets.”

A Profound line that resonates with you long after you have put down this thriller/murder mystery/literary novel.
A Line filled with a much deeper ethos than what you see at a simple glance.
A line filled with strata of anguish, misery, pain, betrayal and ultimately truth. All revealed as you peel back layers upon layers of the story and yourself as well.

Much like how you peel away layer upon layer of an onion,
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ianscyberspace
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Biswas has presented in this book all the elements of tragic modern life. There is the desire for closeness with someone you can rely on and trust and how this can play out when errors of heart occur. Add to this the caustic mutual destruction practiced in dysfunctional families, tension between doing what is right and what preserves position, influence, power and family face. In the story background inappropriate compromises are dictated, where power structures intervene to maintain an ...more
Anna Tan
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
You Beneath Your Skin is a chilling debut by Damyanti Biswas--a psychological thriller that delves deep into dysfunctional families, broken relationships, drug abuse, and violence, all wrapped up in an unpresuming police procedural set in Delhi. There's also the relentless Delhi politics that keeps Jatin Bhatt in a loveless marriage, receiving dirty money and participating in cover-ups for minister's, whilst staying friendly with the Union Home Secretary and his powerful family, so that he can ...more
Neelima Vinod
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You Beneath Your Skin is a difficult book to read for the faint-hearted- I cringed when I read about the women who were eaten up and mauled by acid. Violence against women is something words can not portray accurately enough; images also mislead, but Damyanti writes about the brutality of misogyny in a very matter of fact way with loads of research and shayari to lighten the scars. Her characters grow, so you empathize with Anjali and are frustrated with Jatin and worried about Nikhil…Damyanti ...more
Arti
The book is like the cover, one layer of words on the face of a girl. There are layers and layers in the story like an onion, and as one layer is removed, the other just comes out. And the book becomes unputdownable.
The realistic and relatable characters, their background stories, their nature and why they are what they are has been beautifully written. And one cannot know everything about the character at the beginning of the book, but as the story progresses, the characters reveal themselves,
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Jemi Fraser
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Compelling and powerful!
This story has incredible layers that blend and twist, and connections that take you by surprise.
The characters are complex and so human. My emotions swirled throughout the story - breaking my heart, stealing my breath, and lifting me up along the way.
Damyanti Biswas paints pictures so vivid I was immersed in the new-to-me setting of Delhi.
An unforgettable read that will stick with you long after you turn the final page.
Belinda Witzenhausen
In her debut novel, You Beneath Your Skin, Damyanti Biswas gives us a compelling psychological thriller which is not only a brilliant page-turner but shows us the truth about the misogyny and violence against women which sadly happens throughout the world.

The story opens when Anjali Morgan, a well-respected psychiatrist, is called to consult on a string of murders of young slum women, raped, murdered and disfigured with acid on the streets of New Delhi. Anjali already living a complicated life,
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Rekha
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gripping and entertaining read. A story that sends out a very strong message about acid attacks, trafficking and much more.
Biswas is a master storyteller and her debut novel is just a proof of that. The characters are very well portrayed. Each of the character's story/dilemma is so intricately weaved into one big story.
The story is sure to take the reader on an emotional roller-coaster. If you like mysteries then I would highly recommend you to read this book.

Detailed review's here:
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Leslie Chen
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What stood out in the story was the character development. Biswas’s writing reminded me of so many past masters of storytelling from India but also had hints of one of my favourite writers today Kate Atkinson, who is a big voice in literary crime fiction.
Oh yes I would classify this as literary crime fiction in the use of the crime genre to criticise Indian society (and also all Asian societies if you like) for its patriarchy and treatment of women.
It has been said that an important element of
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Marc Faoite
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An evocative and socially engaged thriller/mystery novel set primarily in and around Delhi, dealing with important issues including acid attacks, female empowerment, police corruption and violence, drug abuse, crippling poverty, and the tenacity of family ties. An exciting fast-paced read that sees the protagonist tackle demons from the past and present. The author captures Delhi perfectly with all the dirt and grime and tea-sipping uncles spitting in the dust. A fantastic first novel. I look ...more
Krutika Puranik
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual Rating - 3.7/5.
~
Book Review | You Beneath Your Skin.
~
When I read Make Love Not Scars many months ago, I was moved by the courage shown by the survivors. Having your entire face and identity ripped off in just a few seconds is a frightening thing to experience. Though this book by Damyanti is a work of fiction, it still makes the reader uncomfortable as they come across the tales being narrated by the survivors. In this story, the author focuses on acid attack crimes and other activities
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Aditya Jain
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So let's start talking about the book "You Beneath Your Skin" a debut Novel by "Damyanti Biswas"

I won't be talking about the story because that will take all the fun off the time you read it but it is an amazingly fast read. The pace is unbelievably great and the reason I am saying unbelievably great is that the first 30-40 pages were incredibly slow and I didn't imagine that this book will gather up the pace to such a good extent.

The story is based in Delhi, the capital of India and not
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C. McKenzie
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a single mom with a severely afflicted autistic child, Anjali Morgan struggles to keep herself and her son together in spite of his increasing hostility toward her and the fact that he’s becoming a young man with the strength to do her bodily harm.

Anjali’s family drama plays out amidst the dark under-world of drugs, prostitution, and horrid acid mutilation murders in today’s India.

This is a powerful story where police seek out the worst kind of criminals to protect those trapped in their web
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Yosh
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Damyanti Biswas’ You Beneath Your Skin. It has a gripping storyline and a nice assortment of characters. They all move through the world with different emotions and motivations, and all of them are vivid, believable, and sympathetic. I like how skillfully the author interwove the family and thriller aspects of the book, as well as the larger themes of misogyny and patriarchy. It’s a great framework handled well. I also liked the author’s prose—it is both stylish and accessible. ...more
Elias McClellan
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You Beneath Your Skin (YBYS) is the rare book that touches multiple lives and multiple stories while maintaining a consistent tone and laser focus on the central conflict. Damyanti Biswas tackles street-level crime, institutional corruption, and family intrigues—with multiple POV characters—all just shy of 400 pages with nary a wasted word. Her dialogue is precise, her action cutting, and each character is fully formed with distinct voices. Those characters are the soul of this hard-hitting ...more
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds

Disclaimer: A physical copy was provided via Simon and Schuster India and the Author as part of the Blog Tour. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.

It’s hard to believe, at first glance that You Beneath Your Skin is the author’s debut novel – there is quite the sophistication in the way that the plot is put forward and the way it grips the reader’s attention, that is only found in the seasoned
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Karien Ditzhuijzen
It took me a little time to get into the story, as at first I was a little confused with all the characters and how they relate to each other. But when you persevere, you will be rewarded - this book definitely gets under your skin!

I really like how the author uses the thriller format to show us some dark sides of India - acid attacks, the position of women, and corruption. She takes you on a rollercoaster showing crimes which are intriguing and appalling at the same time. The ending was for me
...more
Greeshma
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
A really good psychological thriller if there was one coming from India. Gobbled it up in about 2 days. Jatin and Anjali were such well-rounded characters. For a thriller that attempts natural dialogues, has a white woman in a pivotal role, and deals with acid victims, domestic violence and autism, it does a stellar job of stitching it all together seamlessly. I highly recommend!
Sharon Shre
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You Beneath your skin is a beautiful crime thriller book. The narration of the story is very crisp initially and towards the end, it was like a chest of secret drawers, one leading to another.

The story has many themes like Love, Teamwork, Greed, Slum dwellers, Money, Power, Corrupted politician, Vigilance, Lust, Arrogance, family relationships and the way the author covered each segment is impeccable.

A Riveting story of an Indo American Single mother with her Autistic Son, Nikhil. Her
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Anuradha Prasad
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“You Beneath Your Skin” is a literary crime thriller that is equal parts whodunit and whydunnit. Set in smoggy Delhi where male aggression is just a snap away, the narrative explores crimes against women – specifically acid attacks, while cutting through patriarchy, corruption, and relationship dynamics.

Anjali Morgan is a single mom to a son with autism and she is vain about her looks. She is Jali to her friend and landlord, Maya. She is Jelly to Maya’s brother Jatin Bhatt, the assistant police
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Inderpreet Uppal
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really Long Review Alert!!

Do we really know our loved ones? Are ever really sure that the face we see each day, cherish, nurture and love each day is not a facade?

Damyanti shatters a lot of assumptions in her book You Beneath Your Skin. It is not just a thriller trying to figure out the dark underbelly of Delhi but also the privileged criminals. The ones, who are whisked away under the garb of being too young, too rich, too powerful or just being born into privilege.

Anjali is trying to find the
...more
Michelle
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A well-paced, multi-layered and highly addictive crime thriller in which the reader comes face to face with the stark reality of the New Delhi underworld; a world where women are attacked and disfigured by acid on the crime-ridden streets; a world which introduces you to dark and disturbing places where rape, prostitution, drug abuse, murder and corruption are commonplace.
In a broader context, this timeous story reinforces crimes against women, since it is well known that femicide seems to be
...more
Irene
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You Beneath Your Skin is a remarkable debut novel. Set in Delhi, it covers themes of political and police corruption, acid attacks, the position of women in Indian society, drug trafficking, bringing up an autistic child, and family and personal relationships which develop intriguingly and utterly convincingly throughout the book. Without giving too much away, there were countless moments when I felt my attention riveted by the words on the page, for example the descriptions of the shock of an ...more
Carla (Carla's Book Bits)
"It’s a dark, smog-choked New Delhi winter."

That's literally all you need to put you in the mood for this dark crime thriller. Damyanti Biswas is definitely a writer with potential!

Someone is on a crime spree in New Delhi; slum women are found everywhere, cut apart, acid poured on their faces, stuffed in trash bags.. I love that this storyline is used to critique Indian society in regards to sexism, class issues, etc. My big issue with this is that I found the main characters completely
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Damyanti Biswas is an author, blogger, animal-lover, spiritualist. Her work is represented by Ed Wilson from the Johnson & Alcock agency.

When not pottering about with her plants or her aquariums, you can find her nose deep in a book, or baking up a storm.