Under My Skin

Under My Skin

by Lisa Unger

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Original)

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Overview

From New York Times bestselling author and master of suspense Lisa Unger comes an addictive psychological thriller about a woman on the hunt for her husband’s killer

What if the nightmares are actually memories?

It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run through Manhattan’s Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into an oblivion of grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognize. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack?

The case was never solved, and Poppy has finally begun to move on. But those lost days have never stopped haunting her. Poppy starts having nightmares and blackouts—there are periods of time she can’t remember, and she’s unable to tell the difference between what is real and what she’s imagining. When she begins to sense that someone is following her, Poppy is plunged into a game of cat and mouse, determined to unravel the mystery around her husband’s death. But can she handle the truth about what really happened?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778309567
Publisher: Park Row Books
Publication date: 08/20/2019
Edition description: Original
Pages: 512
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Lisa Unger is a NYT and international bestselling, award-winning author. Her books are published in 26 languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies, and have been named “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly and the Sun-Sentinel, among others. Her essays have appeared in the NYT, the Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel + Leisuremagazine. Lisa lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter and labradoodle.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

"I think someone's following me."

I almost kept this to myself, but toward the end of our session it just tumbles out.

Dr. Nash wrinkles her brow with concern. "Oh?"

Her office is a cozy living room, all big furniture and fluffy throw pillows. There are shelves and shelves of books and pictures, and trinkets, small art objects from her travels. It's exactly the kind of office you'd want your shrink to have. Warm, enveloping. I sink into my usual corner on her plush couch, leaning heavily on the overstuffed armrest. I resist the urge to curl up in a ball and cover myself with the cashmere blanket that's tossed artfully over the back. A grouping of those faux candles f licker on the coffee table; she made me some tea when I arrived. It sits in front of me, untouched.

"The other night when I left the gym, there was someone standing across the street. I think I saw him again this morning on a park bench near my office."

Even thinking about it, there's a f lutter of unease.

The doctor shifts in her leather Eames chair; it's too well made to creak beneath her weight. She's a wisp of a woman. The leather just whispers against the fabric of her pants. Afternoon light washes in, touching her hair and the side of her face. There are these longish pauses in our conversation where she chooses her words, letting mine ring back to me. She takes one now, considering me.

"Are you certain it was the same man?" she asks finally.

A cool October breeze wafts in the open window, street noise carrying up from nine f loors below. A horn, the rumble of a manhole cover wobbling beneath the weight of passing vehicles, the yipping of some small dog. I imagine a Yorkie in a little sweater, straining against a slender leash.

"No," I admit.

"But certain enough that you're uneasy about it."

I'm already sorry I brought it up. I did see someone, a man in a black hoodie, sneakers, faded jeans. He stood in a dark doorway across the street when I left the gym last Tuesday. Then on Thursday as I headed to my office clutching my daily quadruple espresso, I saw him again. I felt his eyes on me, the details of his face hidden in the dark shadow of that hood.

I dismissed it. There are lots of staring men clad in jeans and hoodies in this city. Any girl will tell you, there are always eyes on you, unsolicited comments, unwanted noises, unwelcome approaches. But then maybe I saw him once more over the weekend, when I was coming home from the farmers' market. Still, it's hard to be certain.

"Well," I backpedal. "Maybe it wasn't the same man."

I shouldn't have said anything. I don't want her to think I'm backsliding. Stumbling toward another breakdown. When something like that happens to you, there's this energy to the people who care about you, like they're always waiting for signs that it's going to happen again. I get it; they don't want to miss the tells a second time and run the risk of losing you again, maybe for good. Even I'm wary. I feel a little sick about that black spot in my memory where I took a vacation from reality, how fuzzy are the days surrounding Jack's murder.

So. I try not to think about it. It's one of the things from which I am trying to move on. That's what you're supposed to do, you know, when the worst thing happens and you're still standing. Everyone's very clear about it: you're supposed to move on.

"It's probably nothing," I say, stealing a surreptitious glance at my watch. My smartphone, my tether as Jack liked to call it, is off and tucked into my bag, as per Dr. Nash's office rules. Here we free ourselves of distractions and try to be present in a world that conspires against it, she has said more than once.

Dr. Nash watches me, prettily brushing away an errant strand of her lovely gray blond bob. Behind her there's a picture of her family — her chiseled jaw, graying husband, her grown children both with her same delicate features, intelligent eyes. They all stand together on a terrace overlooking a beach sunset, smiling, faces pressed together. We're perfect, it seems to say. Wealthy and gorgeous, without a single stain of darkness on our lives. I look away.

"I noticed you're not wearing your rings," she says.

I look down at my left hand. The finger is slightly indented from my wedding and engagement rings, but bare.

"When did you make that decision?"

My hands swelled the other night, and I took the rings off and put them in the dish beside my bed. I haven't put them back on. I tell her as much. Jack has been dead almost a year. I'm not married any more. Time to stop wearing the jewelry, right? Even though the sight of my bare hand puts a painful squeeze on my heart, it's time.

"Was it before or after that you started seeing the hooded figure?"

Dr. Nash is the master of the pointed question.

"I see where you're going with this."

"I'm just asking."

I smile a little. "You're never just asking, Dr. Nash."

We like each other. Sometimes, lately, our sessions devolve into chats — which she says is a sign I need her less. A good thing, according to her. Progress on the road to healing, the new normal as she likes to call it.

"How are you sleeping?" she asks, letting her other question rest.

I have the nearly empty pill bottle in my purse. Last time I asked for more, she wrote me a scrip but lowered the dosage. I'd like you to try to get off these. Honestly, it hasn't been going well. My dreams are too vivid. I'm less rested, so edgier, jumpier during the day.

"I was going to ask for my refill."

"How's that lower dosage?"

I shrug, trying for nonchalance. I don't want to appear fragile, not to her, not to anyone. Even though I am, terribly. "I'm dreaming more. Maybe I feel a little less rested."

"You're not taking more of them, though, are you?"

I am. I'm also doing other things I shouldn't be doing. Like taking them with alcohol, for one.

"No," I lie.

She nods carefully, watching me in her shrink way. "You've been taking them for eleven months. I'd like to go down to the minimum dosage with an eye toward your being off them altogether. Want to give it try?"

I hesitate. That chemical slumber is the best place in my life right now. I don't say that, though. It sounds too grim. Instead I find myself agreeing.

"Great," she says. "If it's an issue, we'll go back up to the dosage you're on now. And those dreams? Go back to the dream journal you were keeping when Jack first died. It's an important part of our lives, our dream world. As we've discussed, we can learn a lot about ourselves there. Do you still keep it by your bed?"

"Yes."

She hands me the white slip of paper.

"Well," she says. I stare at the crisp sheet, her doctor's scrawl. "I think our time is up for today."

I'm always a little startled by the end of a session, the abrupt reminder that no matter how intimate, how I strip myself bare in these sessions, ours is a professional relationship. If I stopped paying, these chats with Dr. Nash would come to an unceremonious end.

"And, Poppy? If you see him again, call me."

A siren from the street below drifts up, a distant and ghostly wail. This sound, so frequent in the cacophony of city noise, always makes me think of Jack. About an hour after he left that morning, emergency vehicles howled up the avenue beneath our window. There should have been some premonition, some dark dawning but there wasn't.

A lingering head cold had kept me in bed instead of going with him as I normally would have.

You could have died that morning too, Layla says when we go over and over it.

Or maybe it wouldn't have happened at all. Maybe we would have run in a different direction. Or maybe we could have fought off the attacker together.

Or maybe, or maybe, or maybe — on and on. Infinite possibilities, myriad ways Jack might still be with me. He overslept; a light caused him to cross another street; I was there and twisted my ankle causing us to return home. I turn to those scenarios in blank moments, in dreams, when I should be paying attention in meetings. So many other paths he could have taken and didn't.

"I'm not imagining him." It seems to come out of nowhere.

Dr. Nash cocks her head at me. "I didn't say you were."

I bend down and grab my bag, come to standing as she does.

"And lock your doors. Be mindful," she adds.

"You sound like my mother."

She chuckles. "We can talk about that next session."

"Very funny."

* * *

I walk toward the subway, needing to get back downtown for a two o'clock meeting. I'm probably going to be late — again. The city is such a mess, a constant crush of traffic and delayed trains. I think about a cab or an Uber, but sometimes that's even worse, snaking through jammed streets, trapped in a box, trying to decide if it would be faster to just get out and walk. The whole city seems to conspire against promptness.

I text my assistant, Ben. Running late, I tap in quickly and descend beneath the street. It's Monday midday, so it's not as crowded as it could be. Though the day is mild, the platform is hot as an oven and smells like piss. My stress level starts to tick up.

Jack wanted us to leave Manhattan; he'd grown to hate it. Everything that was cool about it is gone. It's just an island for the rich. He dreamed of a historic property upstate, something with a lot of land, trees, trails to wander. Something we could renovate and make ours. He longed to disconnect from the rush of wanting, grasping, striving, at least on the weekends. He wanted time back behind the camera. He didn't get any of those things.

We were packing when he died, boxing up the one-bedroom Upper West Side apartment we'd shared for five years. But instead of moving out of the city, we were moving to The Tate, a luxury high rise in Chelsea — a gleaming tower of apartments with f loor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning vistas, high ceilings, wood f loors, chic open-plan kitchens, pool and gym, a 24/7 building staff. It was me. I was the one who wanted it; he acquiesced.

He loved our dark, cozy place on 97th — with views of the other building across the street, with radiators that clanked, and mice in our ridiculously dated kitchen, and the old doorman Richie who'd worked there forever and was sometimes asleep when we walked in. He loved our crazy, colorful cast of neighbors — Merlinda, the psychic who read clients in her apartment, Chuck — or Chica — accountant by day, drag queen by night who had the most beautiful singing voice I'd ever heard, Bruce, Linda and Chloe, public school teachers and their adorable, gifted daughter, our next-door neighbors who never failed to invite us for Sunday dinner.

Now I live in a starkly beautiful space that looks out onto lower Manhattan — alone. I don't even know who lives in the apartment next to me. The hallways are gray tunnels, lined with doors that seem to rarely open. In my apartment, the furniture is placed appropriately — bed in the bedroom, couch in the living area — but most of the boxes are still unpacked. To say I miss my husband, our wacky neighbors, that dark old apartment, our life — well, why? There are no words to adequately describe that slick-walled gully of despair. Suffice it to say that I can't seem to fully move into my new life without Jack.

I'm sorry, I tell him. I wish I had listened to you.

Dr. Nash says it's okay to talk to him, if I understand he's not talking back.

Time drags and I'm ever more fidgety, annoyed. More people file down the stairs. The platform grows dense with bodies, the air thickening with impatience. Still the train doesn't come. I lean over the edge of the platform to see if I can spot the glow of an oncoming headlamp. No.

I glance at the clock. There is officially no way to be on time now. A bead of perspiration trails down my spine. A glance at my phone reveals that there's no signal.

When the train finally screeches into the station, it's already packed. I wait by the door, letting the f low of people exit. There's no guarantee that the next train will be any less crowded, and that waiting meeting looms. I shoulder myself on, shimmying toward the door that connects one car to the other; find a space with a little breathing room. The cars fill.

Stand clear of the closing doors.

The doors close, open again, then finally shut for good. The train lurches forward, stops, jostling everyone, then onward again. I close my eyes, try to breathe. The crowded space is closing in already. I am not great in tight spaces, which is an uncomfortable condition for a city dweller. It's worse since Jack died; the fingers of panic tugging at me more than they used to. I lean my head against the scratched, foggy glass. Breathe. Just breathe. Imagine you're on a trail in the woods, plenty of space, the tall green trees giving oxygen and shade. There's a bird singing, the sound of the wind in the leaves. It's the meditation Dr. Nash gave me for dealing with anxiety in crowds or anywhere. Occasionally, it works.

But when I open my eyes again, he's there. That hooded man, pressed in among the crowd in the other car, a statue amidst the clutter of shuff ling, jostling passengers. His eyes are hidden by the shadow of the hood, but I can feel them. Is it the same man? My heart stutters, a suck of fear at the base of my throat.

Reality cracks, a fissure splits in my awareness. For a moment, quick and sharp, I'm back in my own bedroom. The space beside me on the king mattress is cold when it should be warm. The covers are tossed. Jack left for his run without me, letting me sleep.

"Jack?"

Then I'm back, the train still rattling, rumbling. I'm stunned, a little breathless; what was that? A kind of vivid remembering, a daydream? Okay. It's not the first time it has happened; but it is the most vivid. The woman next to me gives me a sideways glance, shifts away.

Pull it together, Poppy. The stranger — he's still there. Is he watching me?

Or is he just another blank commuter, lost in thought about home or work or whatever it is we ponder when we're zoning out, traveling between the places in our lives. Maybe he's not seeing me at all. For a moment, I just stare.

Then, unthinking, I push through the doors, stepping out onto the shaking metal platforms between the cars. This is a major subway no-no, I think as I balance and grope my way through the squeal of metal racing past concrete, metal on metal singing, sparking, then through the other door into the relative quiet of the next car.

He moves away, shoving his way through the throng. I follow.

"What the fuck?"

"Watch it."

"Come on."

Annoyed passengers shoot dirty looks, shift reluctantly out of my way as I push after him, the black of his hood cutting like a fin through the sea of others.

As we pull into the next station, he disappears through the door at the far end of the car. Trying to follow him, I find myself caught in the f low of people exiting, and get pushed out of the train onto the platform. I finally break free from the crowd, jog up the platform searching for the hooded figure among tall and short, young and old, backpacks, brief cases, suits, light jackets, baseball caps. Where is he?

I want to see his face, need to see it, even though I can't say why. Distantly, I'm aware that this is not wise behavior. Not street smart.

Don't chase trouble, my mother always says. It will find you soon enough.

Then the doors close and I'm too late to get back on. Shit. My phone chimes, finding a rare spot of service underground.

A text from Ben: ETA? They're going to wait a bit, then reschedule. Assume you're stuck on the train.

It isn't until the train pulls away that I see the stranger again, on board, standing in the door window. He's still watching, or so it seems, his face obscured in the darkness of the hood. I walk, keeping pace with the slow-moving train for a minute, lift my phone and quickly take a couple of pictures. I can almost see his face. Then he's gone.

CHAPTER 2

I arrive at the office frazzled, sweaty, full of nerves, late for the meeting. In the bathroom, running my wrists under cold water, pulling shaking fingers through my dark hair, I stare at my ref lection in the mirror.

Pull. Yourself. Together.

My face is sickly gray under the ugly fluorescents, as I dab some makeup on the eternal dark circles under my eyes, refresh lipstick and blush. A little better, but the girl in the mirror is still a tired, wrung-out version of the person she used to be.

Rustling through my bag, I find the bottle of pills Layla gave me. It's blank, the little amber vial, no label. For nerves, she said. I hesitate only a second before popping one in my mouth and swallowing it with water from the faucet, then try to take some centering breaths. Dr. Nash is not aware of my unauthorized pilltaking, one of multiple things I keep from her. I know. What's the point of keeping things from the person who is supposed to be helping you?

As I walk past Ben's desk, he rises and hands me a stack of messages.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Under My Skin"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Lisa Unger.
Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Under My Skin 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not see the end until the last few pages. Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Throughly enjoyed! Highly recommend!
Anonymous 12 days ago
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marquis784MA 4 months ago
Under My Skin by Lisa Unger October 2018 Fiction, psychological suspense I received this digital ARC book from NetGalley and Park Row in exchange for an unbiased review. Poppy Lang is desperate to solve the murder of her husband Jack who died while out on a run one morning. Unfortunately, she is an unreliable narrator due to her insomnia and paranoia which is exacerbated by her drinking and pill popping. I must admit that this book has my mind reeling with this plot. I almost felt a bit like Poppy while reading this novel where the murder mystery with so many moving parts and flashbacks that one can only hope is resolved in the end. The tangled dream versus reality theme seemed to end up tying itself into knots. It seems like Poppy is getting help from her therapist, Dr Nash, but then that relationship seems to disappear. It seems Poppy is left to figure out her “hypnagogia” on her own. Although I found the writing strong and the characters well developed, I found the story line became unnecessarily convoluted which was probably intentional to build suspense. Unfortunately, it felt anticlimactic for me when the story did finally bring all the chaotic tangled pieces together.
KrittersRamblings 11 months ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Poppy's husband was brutally murdered on a morning run and although it has been awhile since his murder, Poppy is still deep in grief and wonderment and trying to solve it. Jumping from past to present, this is a book that centers around a woman who may not be the most reliable, but has quite a story to tell! Let me start by saying if you do not like reading a book with an unreliable narrator then I would stop here. I like it when I am not sure if I can trust everything the narrator is saying and I don't mind questioning everything they are saying, but I know a reader or two where an unreliable narrator would drive them batty!
Anonymous 11 months ago
After reading the very good reviews on this book, I was waiting for it to get exciting Well for me it never did, i found the main character boring and the storyline never progressed, wouldnt recommend it
SunnyCarolinaGirl More than 1 year ago
In this book nothing is what it seems. Poppy Lang's husband was killed while jogging in the park a year ago. Since this happened she has been in a deep state of grief, taking sleeping pills and other pills, drinking, and trying to get through her day-to-day life. But things are happening to Poppy. Are these things real or is she dreaming, or as her therapist calls it micro-sleep. She is continually reliving the last morning with her husband, coming up with different scenarios that would change the outcome of his death. She is recalling memories or are they dreams? This book definitely keeps you guessing until the end. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hanover Square Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
ShihTzuMama More than 1 year ago
A homicide detective who can’t let go of a cold case and the grieving widow of the murder victim are at the center of Lisa Unger’s latest offering UNDER MY SKIN. Widow Poppy Lang, a professional photographer and the narrator of this tale, is beset by vivid dreams, unreal reality and the loving memories of her late husband Jack that she refuses to abandon. She vacillates between paranoia and an unrelenting grief that has her casting a suspicious eye on every passing stranger and constantly playing the “why and what if” game when it comes to Jack’s murder. I was invested in UNDER MY SKIN from page one. First of all, the villain of the piece wasn’t obvious nor was the motive for Jack’s murder which kept me reading as the complex plot grew and grew. What a pleasure it is to give oneself up to a book and to be met with a series of last-minute revelations as stunning as the finale of a fireworks show. Lisa Unger has given her readers one of those rare thrillers that really will keep you reading all night.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could never get tried of reading your books …
bamcooks More than 1 year ago
*3-3.5 stars. This is my first taste of Lisa Unger's writing, although I've been planning to read others of hers for quite some time. I received an arc of Under My Skin from the publisher via NetGalley for my honest review. Poppy Lang's husband was brutally murdered a year ago and Poppy is still struggling with her grief, seeing a psychiatrist and self-medicating with combinations of pills and alcohol. So it's no wonder that she seems to be hallucinating at times. She even had a period right after the funeral where she blacked out and had to be hospitalized. With no memory of what happened to her during that period, she wonders if the truth is buried somewhere in those lost memories. Could she solve the murder if she could just remember? I liked parts of this thriller more than others. I thought the prologue obfuscated the plot from the get-go--why was this scene presented early on when the story doesn't return to that situation till we are nearing the conclusion? And all the scenes of hypnagogia, where she doesn't know if she is dreaming or hallucinating or just plain crazy, begin to grow a little tiresome. That all said, there was quite an interesting mystery embedded in all the craziness and repetitiveness that was worth hanging in there for. There are a lot of layers to this mystery.
Candice_S More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderfully surprising for me - what started out as a slow burn of a story that seemed steeped heavily in the psychotic breakdown of Poppy's character quickly morphed into a page turning, can't put down, what is going to happen mystery full of suspense. I really enjoyed this one - especially as I moved into the second part of the book. I fully admit - the slow burn of the first part, mixed with the constant heaviness of Poppy's mental state made it a little tough for me to get fully into this read right off the bat. Parts of the story felt too repetitive for me - but in all honesty were perfectly suited to the story and to Poppy's drug induced, sleep deprived, grieving mental space. Regardless, I'm glad I stuck with it because when it picks up, it picks up FAST and then I couldn't stop reading this book. I loved the characters in this book - mostly because I like a book where every character has a little bit held back, making them a little mysterious. It definitely works with the story, and helped make all the many dream state scenes work a little easier (in my opinion). Overall this was a solid mystery/character drama for me - without question it is unique in nature, and definitely a great story to pick up and waste a way a cold winter afternoon.
nellista on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A few too many coincidences, and a little predictable. Though I did like the way the author bridged between the two novels.
Carolefort More than 1 year ago
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. Thank you to Park Row Books and NetGalley for an eArc of Under my Skin by Lisa Unger in exchange for an honest review.
Booklover225 More than 1 year ago
Wow what a great read! This is not your beach read it is so much more. Lisa Unger knows how to weave a tale to keep you on the edge of your seat. Poppy's husband Jack has been murdered. The police have no leads on this senseless act of violence. Floating through days of sleeping pills and anti anxiety pills washed down by alcohol she loses herself in the twilight of reality and unreality. She swears someone is following her and she gives chase never to catch him is she hallucinating? Poppy dissapears for days after the funeral, then she shows up at her best friends doorstep not remembering where she was and how she got back. Her best friend since childhood and her husband have been a rock trying to help Poppy deal with the loss that affected them all. Roller coastering thoughts and strange events makes her fear she is losing her sanity. Visions of clues materialize in her mind that she is driven to follow. . Through a maze of grief she struggles to know who killed Jack. Why, he had no ememies. What happened to her those days following the funeral? Where was she? Is her life in danger as she thinks, She grapples with what if's over and over about that last morning before Jack went for that fateful run. The argument that now can never be forgiven. There is evil out there and she is closing in on finding who and what. The answer could shatter her. You won't forget this book. It'll reach into your life and make you think. A must read if you appreciate books with depth, mystery, drama and if you like to guess "who dune it". You won't not until it's revealed. I received a digital copy of the book from the author through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good book.
mweinreich More than 1 year ago
Today, I am reviewing a thriller I breezed through and enjoyed greatly. It is the book, Under My Skin which had me up to the early hours finishing what I found to be a pretty compulsive read. “It’s hard to wake from a nightmare when the nightmare is real.” Poppy has lost her husband in an attack while jogging in the early morning in Central Park. It’s horrific and Poppy finds herself caught in a nightmare state set off by Jack’s death and the mysteries that surround it. She can’t sleep, can’t function and in the year that has passed since his death, she has been medicated both by a doctor, a friend, and herself mixing pills with booze so much so that she can’t tell what is real. Right after Jack’s demise, Poppy disappeared for a number of days and now she tries desperately to recreate what brought her into this fugue state where she sees someone following her and can’t access her memories. She is being helped by a wealthy friend and her husband, a police detective, and a mysterious man, Noah, who she seems to have met previously. Poppy is unsure, tremulous, and frightened. What is it that perplexes and exasperates her so, making her relive the exasperation and distress every moment? Will Poppy be able to climb out of the fog of memory and find what she searches for, who murdered her husband, or will she succumb to those nightmares that plague her and drive her perhaps to insanity? ” Do not ignore dreams. They are a line from the past to the future. All nightmares are real.” – (Max Gladstone) I found this book to be a great read for those of us who enjoy a fast paced, action thriller that keeps one engaged from the get go. I enjoyed the author’s way o using the mind and the ways in which thought, memories, and dreams create a reality, that is sometimes at best very far from the real way things are. Some stories engage you and this was one of them. Thank you to Lisa Unger providing this reader with hours of mysterious, perplexing and baffling story, and Harlequin Square Press, and NetGalley.
Susan_7347 More than 1 year ago
4-4.25 STARS One random act of violence, and Poppy’s life was suddenly turned upside down. Her husband Jack was brutally murdered during his morning run, and Poppy’s grief was all consuming. In the aftermath, she disappeared, and reemerged with no memory of her missing days. Moving on proves difficult for Poppy, especially since Jack’s murder was never solved. Plagued with nightmares and blackouts, discerning what is real and what is imagined becomes a constant struggle. Determined to solve the mystery surrounding Jack’s death, Poppy finds herself engaged in a game of cat and mouse. But when the game is over, what will Poppy have discovered? And will she be able to handle the truth that finally is revealed? A unique and compelling psychological thriller, “Under My Skin” drew me in right from the start and held me captive right up until the very end. While my early suspicions about Jack’s murderer turned out to be right, the “why and how” had remained a mystery till the big reveal, as did other curious elements surrounding Poppy’s disappearance. Boasting multi-faceted, relatable characters, along with an intriguing premise, “Under My Skin” is another good read by author Lisa Unger.
Marlene976 More than 1 year ago
What is real? what are memories? What are dreams, how does grief affect us.. is healing about us or the person we lost. An engrossing story that tackles all these questions and more in the new novel by Lisa Unger. Poppy is trying to deal the with death of her husband Jack. Supporting her are her friends Layla and Mac.There were so many layers to this story and try as I might I was never able to guess where we were going…. I highly recommend this book
sspea More than 1 year ago
This book has a really interesting premise. After her husband is brutally murdered, Poppy starts having nightmares. But her nightmares are crossing into her reality, which begs the question, are these nightmares? Or memories? I liked the authors writing style and the book kept me hooked. It was just missing something, it was missing a shock. When all the secrets come out it was very anticlimactic ... it was a 'oh, ok' and not a huge surprise. The book has some twists, but not that big twist that will make a book stand out in this particular genre.
nookerCB More than 1 year ago
Such a sad yet compelling read. A tale of murder, intrigue, mental health issues, betrayal, love, new friendships and more. She was happily married, or so she thought, He was brutally murdered. She lost 4 days. Who murdered him and where was she on her “lost” days? Who is her new friend? Did she know him from her lost days? Lovingly told, giving hope to us all, she does indeed remember and solve the mystery of why and who killed her husband. A bit long, it did seem to slow down in the middle, yet offered a satisfying conclusion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good light read. I like Lisa Unger's books if you want an enjoyable suspense book.. This book was like an old fashioned movie where the heroine is not sure if what she is experiencing is real. At first, I was disappointed in the book because it reminded me of a previous book of Lisa Unger's that I read -Black Out. However, in the middle of the book, the story both improves and becomes different from Unger's previous novel Black Out. I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
MELHUTCHINSON More than 1 year ago
This is my first read by Lisa Unger but I have to say that I was really surprised how good this one was. If you are a fan of psychological thrillers, this one is for you! You will not be disappointed. Poppy is a media specialist and photographer. A year ago Poppy's husband, Jack, was brutally murdered when he was out on a run one morning. Poppy was overcome with grief and went missing for a couple of days. When she is found, she is in a red dress that she doesn't recognize and has no idea how or why she has it on. What went on those few days that Poppy has no clue about? Poppy keeps having these crazy dreams to where she can't tell what is real and what is a dream. She is so confused but feels that someone is trying to tell her something or that she is supposed to remember these certain situations that she dreams about being in. Maybe that is why she can't tell the difference between the dreams and reality. Poppy's friend, Layla, helps her with as much as she can when Poppy needs her. Layla's husband Mac has been there for Poppy as well through the whole ordeal. Will they all be able to figure out what is going on and more importantly what happened to Jack? Poppy is not going to rest again until she knows exactly what happened to Jack, that's for sure. This read will have you on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. You will be turning the pages as fast as you can to find out what in the world is going on. The way that this story is written will have you feeling like you are right there with Poppy too. Great job done by Lisa Unger for sure!
Ginka More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Had me hooked from start to finish. Received an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review. Poppy life is spiraling out of control after the murder of her husband. What is real? What is hallucinations from medicated drug induced fog? Poppy's husband Jack is brutally murdered while on a jog, but a year later Poppy has missing memories can cannot tell what is what. Her best friend, Layla and Layla's husband Mac have been holding her life together for her. Alvaro, a friend of Jack's who Poppy doesn't particularly like is always watching her. Poppy blames herself for not being on the morning jog with Jack as they fought the night before and she wasn't talking to him. So many twists and turns, things I thought I know. I liked detective Grayson and love her new friend, Noah and how he looks out for her. I like that Jack would visit Poppy and talk to her or her dreams with Jack were so real. Didn't like the nightmare visions she had of Jack, but he told her to let him go. So good.
SGMomma More than 1 year ago
Great story! The story picks up with Poppy, trying to recover from the death of her husband Jack. She is still grieving and picking up the pieces from a breakdown after Jack died. She lost time and is working to figure out what happened and if this lost time has any clues as to why her husband died. A page-turner mystery for sure! I really enjoyed the resolution and didn't see it coming.
Bookswithjams More than 1 year ago
Poppy's husband Jack has been murdered, it has not been solved in months, there do not appear to be any leads on the case, which makes it look more and more like a case of wrong place, wrong time. However, we know this is probably not true, otherwise there would not be a need for this book, right? Right. In trying to figure out what happened as well as deal with her grief, Poppy is a sleep-deprived mess, moving between her dreams and reality (while she is awake mind you), oftentimes not knowing the difference, a state otherwise known as hypnogogia. This is not helped by her current use of pills and alcohol as she tries to hide her pain of loss. Also, she is sleep deprived, which is causing memories to resurface from the week leading up to when he died. I should also mention she may have a new potential love interest that has a past. Confused yet? I was a little, especially during the dream state scenes moving into reality. Not that they weren't great, it was just hard to keep them straight at times. Otherwise I really enjoyed this book and thought it was solid, and the ending was great, I did not see it coming, although you do start to get a general idea of where it is going. This was my first Lisa Unger book, and I liked it enough that it will not be my last. Thank you to NetGalley for the electronic ARC to review. All opinions above are my own.