Skin Deep by Liz Nugent


*Many thanks to Liz Nugent and Penguin for my review copy!

About the author:


Before becoming a full-time writer, Liz Nugent worked in Irish film, theatre and television. In 2014 her first novel, Unravelling Oliver, was a Number One bestseller and won the Crime Fiction Prize in the 2014 Irish Book Awards. Her second novel, Lying in Wait, went straight to Number One in the Irish bestseller charts, remained there for nearly two months and won her a second IBA. She lives in Dublin with her husband.

About the book:

‘I could probably have been an actress.
It is not difficult to pretend to be somebody else.
Isn’t that what I’ve been doing for most of my life?’

Cordelia Russell has been living on the French Riviera for twenty-five years, passing herself off as an English socialite. But her luck, and the kindness of strangers, have run out.

The arrival of a visitor from her distant past shocks Cordelia. She reacts violently to the intrusion and flees her flat to spend a drunken night at a glittering party. As dawn breaks she stumbles home through the back streets. Even before she opens her door she can hear the flies buzzing. She did not expect the corpse inside to start decomposing quite so quickly . . .

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

My thoughts:

I love a bookish baddie. You know the kind. Self-centered, narcissistic, just hateful in general. Well, yet again, Liz Nugent has created a truly terrible fictional human being in Cordelia Russell. Right from the beginning of Skin Deep I found myself disliking her as a character.

But. And there is definitely a but. When we are taken through Cordelia’s early life, the reader learns why she is the way she is. No excuse, I know, but it is a very insightful and eye-opening character development that left me wondering how many more layers Liz Nugent could possibly add to her character.

Skin Deep is a masterful exploration of character and circumstance. It is graphic, raw and unashamedly honest in its portrayal of the lengths to which someone will go to get what they need from others. Selfishness and greed are front and centre in this book, and as we learn more about Cordelia, it is difficult to not have some very real and often angry feelings towards her.

I had been eagerly awaiting this book, and it was most definitely worth the wait. A savage look at the depravity of the human condition, the lengths to which people will go for their own gain, it is a triumph.

Highly recommended!

Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent


About the book:

The last people who expect to be meeting with a drug-addicted prostitute are a respected judge and his reclusive wife. And they certainly don’t plan to kill her and bury her in their exquisite suburban garden.

Yet Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimons find themselves in this unfortunate situation.

While Lydia does all she can to protect their innocent son Laurence and their social standing, her husband begins to falls apart.

But Laurence is not as naïve as Lydia thinks. And his obsession with the dead girl’s family may be the undoing of his own.

About the author:

Liz was born in Dublin in 1967, where she now lives. She has written successfully for soap opera, radio drama, television plays, short stories and animation for children.

Liz’s first novel Unravelling Oliver was published to critical and popular acclaim in March 2014. It quickly became a firm favourite with book clubs and reader’s groups. In November of that year, it went on to win the Ireland AM Crime Novel of the Year at the Bord Gais Energy Book Awards and was long listed for the International Dublin Literature Prize 2016. She was also the winner of the inaugural Jack Harte Bursary provided by the Irish Writers Centre and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Dec 2014.

Aside from writing, Liz has led workshops in writing drama for broadcast, she has produced and managed literary salons and curated the literary strand of Skibbereen Arts Festival in July 2016.

Her second novel, Lying in Wait, was released into the wild on July 7th.

Myself and Liz

My thoughts:

Well now!!! Where do I even begin with Lying In Wait?! What a book!!! 😱 I’m going to keep this short, because it’s all good and I don’t want to ramble on! 😂

I knew from the very first line (which is awesome) that I was going to enjoy this book. Once I started, I didn’t want to put it down, it was just such an engaging book! 

From the characters, to the era to the setting, it is just excellent! Liz Nugent has written a claustrophobic, tense and very unnerving book. 

I don’t want to go into too much detail because I’m afraid I’ll give away something and that’s something I do not want to do! The best thing about this book is the characters and the various personal journeys they go on. It’s hard to comprehend how they end up where they do, but that’s testament to the greatness of Liz’s writing!

I was lucky enough to meet Liz this week (read about it here Rick O’Shea’s Book Club- Liz Nugent Rick O’Shea’s Book Club- Liz Nugent) and one of the things she said was that she wants to grab readers by the throat and keep them reading until they are dropped like a stone after the last page. I’m pretty sure she managed to do that with Lying In Wait, it is unputdownable.

I cannot recommend Lying In Wait highly enough! All the stars! ⭐️

Buy the Book: (ebook) 

Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent

Rick O’Shea’s Book Club- Liz Nugent 

Hi hi!

On Monday (8th August), I had the absolute pleasure of attending my first proper book event and it was practically on my doorstep, so I couldn’t not go!!!

I’m part of a book club on Facebook, set up by legendary Irish radio presenter (and all round book nerd!) Rick O’Shea and we have moved from the virtual world to the real world with a series of author interviews and Liz Nugent was the guest of honour in Dubray Books in Galway.

Photo courtesy of Rick O’Shea

Liz Nugent is the bestselling author of Unravelling Oliver and Lying In Wait. I finished Lying In Wait the night before the event so I haven’t had time to do up my review yet but it is a stunning book!!!

Clearly being an eager beaver, I was super early and managed to nab a front row seat so that I could a) hear Liz and Rick and b) take photos! Needless to say, I took enough during the course of the night. (These two are Rick’s!)

The interview itself was fantastic. Liz is so engaging, and honest and genuinely funny that I’m pretty sure the audience were well entertained for the duration. Rick asked some great questions of Liz too, and her answers were very insightful. There are also parts of it that belong in the #DONOTTWEETTHIS category, for reasons I can’t disclose… mwahahahaha!! 🙂

I also have to praise the staff in Dubray Galway. I visit there regularly and they are so helpful and extremely knowledgeable. For the event, they were so accommodating and couldn’t do enough to help which was brilliant! And they even let me buy the BFG Books Are My Bag tote a bit early!


For the afters, we all went to O’Connells bar on Eyre Square for drinks and a blind book swap. It was a great chance to chat to fellow book lovers, and more than a little surreal for people to say they know who I am and that they read my blog!!! The blind book swap was great fun, and I managed to get two great books (I had brought two, therefore I got to take two as well!) of which one has been on my wishlist for a while!

I have to say, sitting in the relaxed atmosphere in the pub was so much fun as everyone was chatting books and it was lovely to spend time in the wonderful company of like-minded book lovers. We stayed chatting until 1am, when we were asked ever so politely to leave! At that stage there was only 5 of us left; myself, Rick, Liz, Sarah and Carol- we’re hard core don’t ya know!!!!

I had the best time! I laughed so much, and I learned a lot from listening to Liz and Rick so it was a fab experience! Huge thanks again for an absolutely superb night!

Bring on the next one!!!