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Under My Skin

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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 Po 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?


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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 Po 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?

30 review for Under My Skin

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kaceey - Traveling Sister

    Hypnagogia - the state between sleep and consciousness. Twilight. When you‘re dreaming...yet somewhat awake. Poppy is a recent widow. Last year she lost her husband to a violent death. Her life since has been a series of breakdowns and desperate attempts at crawling back to a life she no longer recognizes. The police have no clues why her husband Jack was targeted and killed. To make matters worse, she now has the feeling there’s a hooded figure following her. Is she also in danger? Or was Jack's Hypnagogia - the state between sleep and consciousness. Twilight. When you‘re dreaming...yet somewhat awake. Poppy is a recent widow. Last year she lost her husband to a violent death. Her life since has been a series of breakdowns and desperate attempts at crawling back to a life she no longer recognizes. The police have no clues why her husband Jack was targeted and killed. To make matters worse, she now has the feeling there’s a hooded figure following her. Is she also in danger? Or was Jack's death simply nothing more than a random mugging gone wrong? Poppy’s reality is mixed with her chemically induced dreams. Is she sleeping or awake? What’s real and what’s not? And of course...who can she trust? Lisa Unger has been one of my go-to authors for years. She never disappoints! And wow did she just deliver another little gem! I was as caught up in the dreams vs reality as much as Poppy was! Questioning everything and of course, everyone! It’s fast and furious! Word of advice: you’ll need to stay focused and pay attention or you’ll be left behind in one of the dream states! The ending was perfect! I had certain parts figured out, while others came as a complete surprise! Nothing suddenly out of left field! Already looking forward to the next Lisa Unger release! A buddy read with Susanne! Thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin- Hanover Square Press and Lisa Unger for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    I'm a huge Lisa Unger fan, but this one just wasn't my favorite of her novels to date. I found myself a little confused in the first half; I had to go back to sections and double check what I had read which became tedious. It's quite possible I'm over the psychological thrillers that have a dream sequence plot, and that's on me. Not a bad read, but left me feeling underwhelmed in comparison to all the other novels by Unger that I've read. Full review to come closer to pub date. *I received a revi I'm a huge Lisa Unger fan, but this one just wasn't my favorite of her novels to date. I found myself a little confused in the first half; I had to go back to sections and double check what I had read which became tedious. It's quite possible I'm over the psychological thrillers that have a dream sequence plot, and that's on me. Not a bad read, but left me feeling underwhelmed in comparison to all the other novels by Unger that I've read. Full review to come closer to pub date. *I received a review copy via the publisher.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    "I wonder if anyone notices that I am a ghost in my life." Poppy's husband, Jack, was murdered one year ago during his morning run in the park. After his funeral, Poppy disappeared. Her best friend and Mother were concerned and even more worried when Poppy showed up wearing a red dress, confused and with no memory as to where she was during those missing three days. Hospitalized with a "nervous breakdown", Poppy recovers but still does not have any memory of those lost days. "What is read and wha "I wonder if anyone notices that I am a ghost in my life." Poppy's husband, Jack, was murdered one year ago during his morning run in the park. After his funeral, Poppy disappeared. Her best friend and Mother were concerned and even more worried when Poppy showed up wearing a red dress, confused and with no memory as to where she was during those missing three days. Hospitalized with a "nervous breakdown", Poppy recovers but still does not have any memory of those lost days. "What is read and what isn't real?" This book was all over the place. It has a dizzying effect. When I first began reading, I was confused and had a hard time keeping track of what was happening. I scratched my head, wondering how this book got positive reviews. Initially this book is a mess. Timelines jumped around, things I thought happened, didn't happen....and then I got it. Poppy is having a hard time with her reality. She doesn’t know what is real, what as a dream, a past memory. She is confused and having trouble making sense of what is happening in her life. How many of us know what it feels like to question your reality? Is what just happed real? Was it a hallucination? A False memory, a dream? Did I have that conversation last night, or six months ago? Did I have that conversation at all? Lisa Unger did an amazingly brilliant job of having the reader feel what the female protagonist is feeling - confusion. Wow! Is all I can say! What I initially thought was a mess turned into something brilliant. AS Poppy searches for the truth, Unger will have the reader (and Poppy) questioning what is real and what isn’t. This isn’t a straight murder mystery/thriller but a wild ride in search of the truth through one woman’s reality. Very well done and thought out. Unger pulled this one off so smoothly. I was just as lost and confused as Poppy. I wasn’t clear as to what was happening and questioned my theories the entire book. Very well played, Unger! Although I wasn’t quite sure what was real and what wasn’t, I could not put this book down. I was eager to learn the truth about Jack’s murder and Poppy’s missing days. Thank you to Harlequin -Hanover Square Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    4 Stars. A Crazy Compelling Psychological Thriller! Poppy lost her husband Jack a year ago now - when he was murdered in what the police say was a random event, though they don’t have any answers as to what happened to him. Poppy, can’t let go of what she lost that fateful night and unfortunately she can’t remember a thing about what happened immediately thereafter, as she disappeared for a few days and everything is still a blur. Now her dreams consume her, she sees images and doesn’t know if they 4 Stars. A Crazy Compelling Psychological Thriller! Poppy lost her husband Jack a year ago now - when he was murdered in what the police say was a random event, though they don’t have any answers as to what happened to him. Poppy, can’t let go of what she lost that fateful night and unfortunately she can’t remember a thing about what happened immediately thereafter, as she disappeared for a few days and everything is still a blur. Now her dreams consume her, she sees images and doesn’t know if they are real or imagined. Of course, it could be all of the pills she’s popping and the alcohol she’s consuming. Then there’s the fact that she’s being followed by a hooded man, and then there’s Jack, who she starts seeing everywhere. Poppy is terrified, yet determined to figure out what happened to her husband before something bad ends up happening to her too. Can Poppy take control and tame the demons around her? Time will tell, as it always does. “Under My Skin” by Lisa Unger is one heck of a page turner. Twisty, turny and all around crazy, it was unputdownable! This was a buddy read with Kaceey. We sure had a wild time trying to figure this one out! Thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin - Hanover Square Press - Park Row and Lisa Unger for a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published on NetGalley, Goodreads and Twitter on 9.7.18.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Holly B

    I have enjoyed a few of Lisa Unger's novels and I was really looking forward to this one. This one is about Poppy, who is searching for her husband's killer. It has been a year since her husband was murdered while on his morning jog, and Poppy is struggling to make sense of it. She is determined to get answers. As she dreams/has nightmares she can't seem to reconcile if they are actually "memories" of events that could be helpful in solving his murder. She is also downing sleeping pills that blu I have enjoyed a few of Lisa Unger's novels and I was really looking forward to this one. This one is about Poppy, who is searching for her husband's killer. It has been a year since her husband was murdered while on his morning jog, and Poppy is struggling to make sense of it. She is determined to get answers. As she dreams/has nightmares she can't seem to reconcile if they are actually "memories" of events that could be helpful in solving his murder. She is also downing sleeping pills that blur her sense of what is real. I thought Poppy was quite an unreliable narrator and her life was a jigsaw puzzle that she couldn't seem to put together. There is some suspense and a few mysterious characters that kept me guessing and wondering what was real. I enjoyed the writing, but the story line became a bit tiresome for me. This was a quick read for me with enough suspense to keep me turning pages to find out what exactly was "real". Thanks to Harlequin and NG for the Arc. Publishes Oct. 2, 2018

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    It has been explained thoroughly. All options have been explored and dismissed. The outcome is inevitable. Yet when this anticipated death arrives, we are stunned and shaken. If prior warning of deaths arrival stuns us, imagine the effect of a sudden violent murder can be to the loving wife of the victim. Poppy Lang, the heroine of Under My Skin, waved goodby to her husband, Jack, as he sets off on an early morning jog through Riverside Park. Hours later Detective Grayson is asking her questions b It has been explained thoroughly. All options have been explored and dismissed. The outcome is inevitable. Yet when this anticipated death arrives, we are stunned and shaken. If prior warning of deaths arrival stuns us, imagine the effect of a sudden violent murder can be to the loving wife of the victim. Poppy Lang, the heroine of Under My Skin, waved goodby to her husband, Jack, as he sets off on an early morning jog through Riverside Park. Hours later Detective Grayson is asking her questions but all Poppy can do is try to understand: Jack is dead. Jack was savagely beaten to death on his run. Her Mother is there. Her friend Layla provides support. There is a funeral. It is all too much and not enough. Poppy disappears. Four days later she wakes up in a hospital with no memory of these days. Now a year later, Poppy is struggling with her life. Dr. Nash, her psychiatrist, listens, asks pointed questions, and provides prescription meds. Layla is warm and loving. Her home is always open to Poppy as is her supply of pills. But Polly is sinking. Her dreams are violent and disturbing. Someone is following her or is it her delusions? A break! As Poppy struggles her dreams become more vivid as some images appear and reappear. What does this mean? Are they real or is Poppy unstable? Slowly pieces begin to come together. Fleeting images become grounded, clues are uncovered and secrets come to life. Finding Jacks killer and restoring Poppy's mental stability is a painful and dangerous journey. Lisa Unger, the author of this engrossing read, skillfully weaves twists that range from subtile to gut wrenching into a story of love, friendship, death and healing I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley. #Netgalley #UnderMySkin

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Lisa Unger has written sixteen novels and it's a travesty that I have only read three of them. Because OMFG this was really good! It literally competed with waiting for the Quebec election results. Not an easy task since I love my politics. Also, whom ever is responsible for selecting book covers for Unger needs a nice vacation or a raise because suspense books shouldn't be this eye catching gorgeous but these definitely are. No need to rehash the plot as it's quite well explained in the blurb. Lisa Unger has written sixteen novels and it's a travesty that I have only read three of them. Because OMFG this was really good! It literally competed with waiting for the Quebec election results. Not an easy task since I love my politics. Also, whom ever is responsible for selecting book covers for Unger needs a nice vacation or a raise because suspense books shouldn't be this eye catching gorgeous but these definitely are. No need to rehash the plot as it's quite well explained in the blurb. Poppy, our main protagonist, goes through a whole gambit of emotions over her husband's death while also struggling to fit in missing pieces of her memory. I didn't feel confusion, but I totally questioned how reliable the narrative was going to be. Lisa Unger makes it seem like everyone around Poppy is either lying or she might be. What a maze to work through! I just know that I really enjoyed the journey, but I still have a few things I would like to say to Poppy. Thanks to Netgalley for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mackey

    4.5 maze like stars! Lisa Unger has created a maze that both captivated and surprised me with her latest thriller, Under My Skin. Poppy, a talented and successful media specialist and photographer, is recovering from the murder of her husband in a what appeared to be a "random act of violence." After his murder, which never was solved, she had a breakdown and was hospitalized. All that she remembers of that time is the day of the murder and waking up in the hospital. Her best friend found her in 4.5 maze like stars! Lisa Unger has created a maze that both captivated and surprised me with her latest thriller, Under My Skin. Poppy, a talented and successful media specialist and photographer, is recovering from the murder of her husband in a what appeared to be a "random act of violence." After his murder, which never was solved, she had a breakdown and was hospitalized. All that she remembers of that time is the day of the murder and waking up in the hospital. Her best friend found her in a red party dress, very shaken and disheveled. That was nearly a year ago. Now Poppy is beginning to have disturbing dreams, flashbacks and, perhaps, hallucinations. She is taking sleeping pills, anxiety medication and mixing it with alcohol. Her life is a wreck and who is to say that what she is seeing or experiencing isn't the product of her pills and alcohol? These are the questions that hang over the entire book. To say that Poppy is an unreliable narrator is a complete understatement. As readers, we are left to decide what is real and what might be a figment of Poppy's imagination.  With the help of a detective who barely believes her and Noah, who may or may not be her stalker, Poppy attempts to unravel her past and, hopefully, uncover clues about her husband's murder. What she discovers may not be what she wants to find.  Under My Skin has every element of a true psychological thriller: unreliable narrator, psychological trauma, never-ending mind games and a lot of action. What Unger does well is delving deeper into the personalities of her characters. We know what they are thinking, how they feel, the relationships that they have with the characters in the book and how those relationships make or made them as a person. Poppy's relationships, ultimately, will be the deciding factor in the climactic and surprising ending. I immensely enjoyed reading Under My Skin, finished it in less that a day and loved every minute of it. It is a labyrinth that has you running circles and second guessing what you - and Poppy - thought was real.  It also features quite a bit of Carl Jung's dream theories and, for me, that was like icing on the cake. I'm a huge Jung fan! If you like real psychological thrillers, suspense or murder mysteries, then this is a book for you.  Thank you @Edelweiss, @LisaUnger and @ParkRowBooks for my copy of #UnderMySkin, publish date October 2, 2018.   

  9. 4 out of 5

    Selene

    Genre: Mystery/Thriller POV/s: First-person, singular Triggers? No. Tone: Defeated HEA? (view spoiler)[Yes. (hide spoiler)] Poppy Lang’s life is in disarray two days after her husband’s funeral. She has a nervous breakdown and can’t recall where she was or what she was doing after Jack was laid to rest. These unaccounted hours are what this story is centered around. This story picks up a year after Jack’s death. Poppy has completed a short stint in a psychiatric facility, has returned to the agency s Genre: Mystery/Thriller POV/s: First-person, singular Triggers? No. Tone: Defeated HEA? (view spoiler)[Yes. (hide spoiler)] Poppy Lang’s life is in disarray two days after her husband’s funeral. She has a nervous breakdown and can’t recall where she was or what she was doing after Jack was laid to rest. These unaccounted hours are what this story is centered around. This story picks up a year after Jack’s death. Poppy has completed a short stint in a psychiatric facility, has returned to the agency she and Jack created, and she is finally wading out of a deep mental swamp of despair. But Jack’s unsolved murder leaves Poppy in an emotional limbo and she’s haunted by her memories of him. A year—for most people it’s a heartbeat, days rushing into weeks into months that pass in a blur. For the grieving, it’s an eternity, life aborted, days dark and slogging. Poppy acknowledges that her marriage wasn’t perfect and that she was always in love with her husband. A marriage is a mosaic, comprised of pieces—some broken and jagged, some shiny, some dull, some golden. The pieces don’t matter as much as the whole picture of your life together. Along the way, Poppy’s friends and even her subconscious seem to hint that her repressed memories are a kindness, that there’s only agony laced with the truth of what she can’t remember. “Poppy,” Jack says. He stands, wearing his running clothes that are smeared with mud and blood. The side of his head is mashed, unnatural. “Don’t do this. Keep looking for answers and you’re going to find things you won’t like. Take the advice everyone keeps giving you and let me go. I’m gone. Long gone.” This book is divided into two parts. The first forty percent was a bit lackluster and it took extra effort to keep reading on. Part one was repetitive as Poppy drifted from one flashback to another and had difficulty distinguishing reality from hallucinations and nightmares. (view spoiler)[Part two immediately began with some clarity from Poppy’s perspective, but the final answers about Jack’s death weren’t revealed until the last few pages of this book. (hide spoiler)] Issues? All of the secrecy, ominous bits, and obvious withholding of information from the fragile Poppy should’ve spurred me on to read this story more quickly. Oddly enough, this book was too easy to put down and didn’t grip me as strongly. Also, every time Poppy thought she was inching closer to truths about her old life with Jack, she’d self sabotage and derail by pill popping. Part of her wanted her memories back. The other part of her was very content to live in the peaceful woods of denial. ▣ The writing was solid but this story didn’t rock me, shake me, or deliver the thrill I was after. This story is perfect for the reader looking for a psychological suspense novel with a character-driven approach and featuring an unreliable narrator. For me, finding out the why behind Jack’s death was anticlimactic. *NetGalley ARC kindly provided by HARLEQUIN - Hanover Square Press in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Really fantastic!! I've read Lisa Unger before and she never disappoints!! The characters in this book feel so real and believable. I felt their struggles and frustrations. The ending was a complete surprise, as all good mysteries should be. I highly recommend this book for all psychological thriller book lovers! Special thanks to NegGalley for the advanced reader's copy in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Gardner

    Lisa Unger is one of my favorite suspense novelists. I love this very Hitchcockian tale of a recently widowed woman, still searching for the truth behind her husband's recent murder.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    3.5★s In the time since her husband, Jack’s brutal murder, almost a year prior, Poppy had spiraled into depression; lost days that she had no memory of; moved out of their comfortable and well-loved home to a stark and sterile apartment; and tried to keep the business that she and Jack owned, running. Poppy’s visits to her psychologist were regular and calming but once she was back into her life, her uncertainties and grief continued. Poppy’s best friends, Layla and Mac, tried to care for her, bu 3.5★s In the time since her husband, Jack’s brutal murder, almost a year prior, Poppy had spiraled into depression; lost days that she had no memory of; moved out of their comfortable and well-loved home to a stark and sterile apartment; and tried to keep the business that she and Jack owned, running. Poppy’s visits to her psychologist were regular and calming but once she was back into her life, her uncertainties and grief continued. Poppy’s best friends, Layla and Mac, tried to care for her, but she felt a great need to be independent – to move forward. But was it paranoia that had her seeing a tall, hooded man who watched her and followed her almost everywhere she went? Or was it the microsleeps that Dr Nash said could happen – even in daylight when she was working? Poppy’s sleep was interrupted by vivid dreams; nightmares – what was real? What were dreams? And were there memories mixed up in the chaos that was Poppy’s life – memories that she had no idea about? Detective Grayson was concerned, especially knowing the case was unsolved; Poppy’s friends were also worried. What would happen to Poppy as she desperately searched for answers? Under My Skin by Lisa Unger is an in-depth psychological thriller with plenty of twists, back and forth memories which tend to confuse (both the reader and Poppy!), intense heartbreak mixed with hope, terror and grief. Poppy was a character who made plenty of mistakes – popping pills to help her sleep, washed down with plenty of alcohol – but the emotions she was going through made it understandable in a way. I’ve read several of Unger’s thrillers, and this one isn’t her best in my opinion. But I’ll definitely read more! Recommended. With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Poppy’s husband Jack was killed whilst out jogging in Manhattan’s Riverside Park. Poppy is not coping with her loss and is dependent on sleeping pills,unsure whether her dreams are dreams or reality that she has forgotten about. It was a real life sliding doors moment, if she had of gone for a jog with Matt would he still be alive? This story was like peeling an onion, every layer revealed another layer as memories were retrieved. I wasn’t sure who was more confused with what was going on me or Po Poppy’s husband Jack was killed whilst out jogging in Manhattan’s Riverside Park. Poppy is not coping with her loss and is dependent on sleeping pills,unsure whether her dreams are dreams or reality that she has forgotten about. It was a real life sliding doors moment, if she had of gone for a jog with Matt would he still be alive? This story was like peeling an onion, every layer revealed another layer as memories were retrieved. I wasn’t sure who was more confused with what was going on me or Poppy!! Although I did get confused,I loved this book, I couldn’t put it down. The link between Poppy’s memories and Jack’s murder was written in a way that grips you and keeps you engrossed till the final page. Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Selena

    I received a free e-copy of Under My Skin by Lisa Unger from Net Galley for my review. An exciting and twisty psychological thriller that will keep you reading and wanting more.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pauline

    Under my Skin by Lisa Unger is a psychological thriller about Poppy who's husband Jack is murdered one morning while he is out running. Poppy is determined to find out who the killer is and why this has happened. Unfortunately she is having nightmares and is taking a lot of pills. She thinks someone is stalking her and she is having blackouts and losing time. I found this book really confusing and this affected my enjoyment of the book. I would like to thank NetGalley and HQ for my e-copy in excha Under my Skin by Lisa Unger is a psychological thriller about Poppy who's husband Jack is murdered one morning while he is out running. Poppy is determined to find out who the killer is and why this has happened. Unfortunately she is having nightmares and is taking a lot of pills. She thinks someone is stalking her and she is having blackouts and losing time. I found this book really confusing and this affected my enjoyment of the book. I would like to thank NetGalley and HQ for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kendall

    So, I've heard nothing but fantastic things about Lisa Unger. I was ecstatic to get my hands on an early arc of Lisa's newest book. I found myself a tad bit confused in the beginning and had to check couple of times that the characters matched up etc. This became a tad annoying for me and tad tedious. It's a high probability that I may just be a little over psychological thrillers?? haha Poppy's husband was murdered to a random event as the police have told her. Poppy can't let go of her husband. So, I've heard nothing but fantastic things about Lisa Unger. I was ecstatic to get my hands on an early arc of Lisa's newest book. I found myself a tad bit confused in the beginning and had to check couple of times that the characters matched up etc. This became a tad annoying for me and tad tedious. It's a high probability that I may just be a little over psychological thrillers?? haha Poppy's husband was murdered to a random event as the police have told her. Poppy can't let go of her husband. Unfortunately, Poppy blacked out right after the death of her husband and can't remember anything. Poppy soon starts having very vivid dreams... where she can't figure out if they're real or dreams. Of course.. Poppy starts being followed by a hooded man.... who is this mysterious man? Can Poppy pull herself together and figure out what happened to her husband? This definitely was a twisty thriller that leaves you on the edge of your seat. Overall, I enjoyed but just didn't have that slam of a spark I was looking for in my thrillers. Poppy got on my nerves a tad bit as well.. with her doing some crazy ass stuff! Huge thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin/Park Row for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest thoughts. 3 stars rounded up! Published to GR: 9/9/18 Publication date: 10/2/18

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    A intentional confusing psychological thriller that may just get under your skin SUMMARY Poppy‘s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during a morning run in Manhattan. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spirals into a dark depression and disappears for several days, only to turn up disheveled and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognize. She can’t remember where she was or who she was with. She was hospitalized with a nervous breakdown. As her depression continues she is unable to t A intentional confusing psychological thriller that may just get under your skin SUMMARY Poppy‘s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during a morning run in Manhattan. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spirals into a dark depression and disappears for several days, only to turn up disheveled and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognize. She can’t remember where she was or who she was with. She was hospitalized with a nervous breakdown. As her depression continues she is unable to tell the difference between what is real and what she is imagining. She believes a hooded man is following her, she remembers a night club, an a woman covered in blood, but she may be hallucinating. And there may be drugs involved. She is determined to resolve the mystery of her husband’s murder but things are just so confusing. REVIEW A psychological thriller that will intentional make you as confused as Poppy feels. The book appears to be a scattered mess. Timelines are confusing, I couldn’t tell what was real, what was imagined, or what was just part of a dream. And then you figure out that it’s an amazing twist on the reader by author Lisa Unger. She wants us to feel Poppy’s confusion. She wants us to know what Poppy felt like. I did feel just as lost and confused as Poppy. Well done, Lisa! The story, while intentional confusing, keeps you on the edge of your seat with unrelenting tension. The book is filled with many flawed characters who are just perfect for the story. Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Publisher Park Row Published October 1, 2018 Review www.bluestockingreviews.com

  18. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    Lisa Unger is a new favorite author for me. This is the third book I've read by her and all of them have been really good! Poppy was a good character who was dealing with the fact that her husband was murdered and the case hasn't been solved. Poppy had a breakdown and had to get help from a counsellor as well as medication to help her sleep which she is mixing with pills her friend Layla gave her and alcohol. Poppy thinks someone is following her, but she doesn't know what is real and what is im Lisa Unger is a new favorite author for me. This is the third book I've read by her and all of them have been really good! Poppy was a good character who was dealing with the fact that her husband was murdered and the case hasn't been solved. Poppy had a breakdown and had to get help from a counsellor as well as medication to help her sleep which she is mixing with pills her friend Layla gave her and alcohol. Poppy thinks someone is following her, but she doesn't know what is real and what is imagined. The suspense builds throughout the novel as things keep happening and Poppy tries to get off the pills and get a handle on what is really happening. A couple of the twists really surprised me. A good psychological thriller. Thanks to Lisa Unger and HARLEQUIN - Hanover Square Press through Netgalley for an advance copy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Helen Power

    A year ago, Poppy’s husband was brutally murdered while out for an early-morning jog. Poppy can’t remember what happened to her in the days following his death. She hasn’t been the same ever since.  At night, she’s having terrible nightmares, and during the day, she keeps seeing a hooded man who follows her everywhere. But how much of this is real? Are the nightmares memories? Does the hooded man even exist? But, most importantly, does Poppy have buried memories of who killed her husband, and if A year ago, Poppy’s husband was brutally murdered while out for an early-morning jog. Poppy can’t remember what happened to her in the days following his death. She hasn’t been the same ever since.  At night, she’s having terrible nightmares, and during the day, she keeps seeing a hooded man who follows her everywhere. But how much of this is real? Are the nightmares memories? Does the hooded man even exist? But, most importantly, does Poppy have buried memories of who killed her husband, and if she does, does she even want to remember? Poppy is a photographer, and though she hasn’t photographed anything since her husband’s death, her perspective—the way she sees the world—is coloured by her artist’s perspective. She evaluates the people around her, not just the persona that they show to the world, but who they really are. What lies Under their skin.  This unique perspective was more noticeable earlier in the book, and as the story’s events unfold, it becomes clear that Poppy isn’t quite as observant as she believed herself to be. Unger’s writing style is very candid, which makes this book not only an easy read, but an enveloping one. Poppy’s perspective, the way she talked, the introspection, was all very engrossing and it was easy for me to get lost in the words on the pages.  That said, I found that Under My Skin has a little too much character development. In my notes, I wrote that at 10%, while the book is engaging and the characters interesting, not much had happened yet.  This changes, but I noticed that the book slowed again significantly at 80%. It felt like the story was wrapping up when the climax had yet to happen. This book has a little too much detail. It has a little too much introspection. It’s a little too repetitive.  Sometimes Unger repeats events and comments and observations, which may be for effect, but it was at the expense of pacing and plot. There are numerous flashbacks and nightmarish hallucinations throughout Under My Skin.  The transitions between were sometimes quite clear.  For example, Poppy would say “I time travel” and at that point it’s clear that she’s remember Jack from when he was alive. Other times, the transitions were not clear, which nicely mimicked in me, as a reader, the experiences that Poppy was going through. Poppy couldn’t tell the past and nightmares from reality, so why should the reader be able to distinguish between the two? This was well done, but at times it felt overdone. Finally, I want to mention that there were a few loose ends that were left undealt with at the end of the novel. One or two of them were addressed in that aggravatingly common “we may never know” type of conversation between two characters. Others were not addressed at all.  This, unfortunately, bumped the rating down a complete star. I decided not to include spoilers here, but if you're curious or want to discuss the plot holes, leave a comment down below! Under My Skin, while heavy in characterization, is a quick read with an intriguing concept.  Unger takes a trope that’s been seen time and time again (the main character with partial-to-total amnesia) and gives it a fresh take.  While this book doesn’t have the strongest plot, the main character is interesting, and Unger expertly weaves flashbacks and present-day events into a story that delves into themes of insanity, grief, and good, old-fashioned mystery solving. I recommend this book to those who are looking for a character-driven psychological thriller that is well-written and engaging.  There are just enough plot twists and turns to keep the story interesting until its last pages. *Thank you to Park Row and Netgalley for the advanced reader copy!*

  20. 5 out of 5

    JuJu (Julie)

    3.5 ⭐‘s. Haunting suspense with a touch of paranormal! Poppy narrates the story, alternating between past, present, dreams and memories—sometimes unexpectedly. At times I wasn’t sure which of these I was reading, and felt as confused as Poppy! I would have given it a higher rating if some of the transitions were easier to follow. However, when I wasn’t confused, I was totally enthralled by Lisa’s storytelling. Poppy tells us about her husband’s unsolved murder and the guilt she feels. She keeps r 3.5 ⭐️‘s. Haunting suspense with a touch of paranormal! Poppy narrates the story, alternating between past, present, dreams and memories—sometimes unexpectedly. At times I wasn’t sure which of these I was reading, and felt as confused as Poppy! I would have given it a higher rating if some of the transitions were easier to follow. However, when I wasn’t confused, I was totally enthralled by Lisa’s storytelling. Poppy tells us about her husband’s unsolved murder and the guilt she feels. She keeps reliving that day—thinking about all the “what ifs”. She can’t let go of Jack. She sees him in her dreams and when she’s awake. She’s still running the business they started together, but she’s never bothered unpacking his belongings after moving into the new apartment. The boxes, with his name on them, are just another reminder of everything she’s lost. Her best friend—Layla—helped her setup a profile on a dating site and she’s starting to date again...well she wouldn’t exactly call it dating like sleeping around. Her life is a mess...the blackouts and time she can’t account for. There are so many missing pieces—lost days after her breakdown. The vivid dreams that feel like memories—she wakes up confused, in the bathroom of a club, wearing a red dress. Is it real or imagined? She’s not sure what’s happening to her—daydreams, flashbacks or hallucinations—but she keeps seeing Jack, a mystery woman and a hooded stranger following her. Her nightmares are getting worse. She’s self-medicating with more than just her prescribed sleeping pills...mixing it all with alcohol. She knows it’s getting out of hand, but she longs for dreamless sleep and escape. She’s a wreck and no longer recognizes the woman staring back at her in the mirror. Thank you NetGalley and Park Row for this ARC, in exchange for my honest review! #UnderMySkin #NetGalley

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristy K

    It feels like I haven't finished a book in weeks. Under My Skin had the unfortunate luck of being read during my reading slump and busy work month. This may have contributed to my lackluster feelings about the book; I'm not sure. I do know that I struggled with the first half of the book, and I found part of the ending a little over the top, but overall it was an enjoyable read. I have an issue with books that use insomnia or pill popping to make an unreliable character. I'm just not a fan of tha It feels like I haven't finished a book in weeks. Under My Skin had the unfortunate luck of being read during my reading slump and busy work month. This may have contributed to my lackluster feelings about the book; I'm not sure. I do know that I struggled with the first half of the book, and I found part of the ending a little over the top, but overall it was an enjoyable read. I have an issue with books that use insomnia or pill popping to make an unreliable character. I'm just not a fan of that manic, hazy, is-this-or-isn't-this real frame of mind. When we first meet Poppy she is in the middle of this crazed state, one year after the murder of her husband. No one knows who killed him, and Poppy can't remember anything about the days following his funeral, so the majority of the time she is running around trying find out what happened all the while dealing with the effects of being doped up and sleep deprived. There are plenty of times when you are left questioning reality right along side Poppy. Once everything started coming together I felt that pacing picked up and I became more invested in the outcome. I will say that (view spoiler)[the whole story-line with Noah (hide spoiler)] was very odd to me and also the (view spoiler)[villain monologue at the end (hide spoiler)] seemed cheap and unnecessary. I can see a lot of people liking this more than me as it is well-written and contains a certain amount of thrill. I just prefer my thrillers more steeped in reality over the dream-like state of Poppy's.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alafair Burke

    How do we know the difference between memories and nightmares? Under My Skin is a twisty, captivating psychological thriller that explores the lingering toll of grief and the enduring power of love and loyalty. This is Lisa Unger at the top of her game.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Talk about a book that will make your head spin!! I will admit for the first bit I was slightly confused but I think that’s mostly due to the fact the Unger is such a fantastic writer that she just drew me into the tangled web that is Poppy’s life so wholly. Once I caught on I was utterly hooked, and found myself totally caught up and invested in this one. I haven’t so strongly felt a characters paranoia and unease since The Woman in the Window, I had similar feelings while reading this especiall Talk about a book that will make your head spin!! I will admit for the first bit I was slightly confused but I think that’s mostly due to the fact the Unger is such a fantastic writer that she just drew me into the tangled web that is Poppy’s life so wholly. Once I caught on I was utterly hooked, and found myself totally caught up and invested in this one. I haven’t so strongly felt a characters paranoia and unease since The Woman in the Window, I had similar feelings while reading this especially as I could not for the life of me figure out if Poppy was insane or not. She teeters back and forth between seeming mostly sane and then she goes off the rails, she has crazy dreams and has problems separating her dreams from what’s actually happening and I couldn’t begin to figure out what was actually going on and what was part of her delusion. Add in a penchant for popping pills and she was one hot mess but she was sympathetic. She’s deep in the throes of grief and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her even if her decision making skills were severely lacking. This was just really well executed overall, the writing is top notch and the plot itself was gripping as well. Poppy was extremely well developed and highly complex, love her or hate her she was endlessly fascinating and I couldn’t wait to see how things would play out for her. Fans of Unger will be pleased and new readers will be happy to discover a talented new author. Under My Skin in three words: Wild, Unnerving and Unreliable.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tammie

    Under My Skin was a solid 4 stars for me. A psychological thriller that centers around main character Poppy. Poppy is in a bad place-ever since her husband was brutally murdered by some unknown assailant, she has been coping by sleeping very little and taking pills. Worse, most likely due to the lack of sleep and the pills, she can’t always separate reality from the imaginary and is prone to blackouts and flashbacks.Throughout the book, Poppy is obsessed with solving her husband’s murder, which Under My Skin was a solid 4 stars for me. A psychological thriller that centers around main character Poppy. Poppy is in a bad place-ever since her husband was brutally murdered by some unknown assailant, she has been coping by sleeping very little and taking pills. Worse, most likely due to the lack of sleep and the pills, she can’t always separate reality from the imaginary and is prone to blackouts and flashbacks.Throughout the book, Poppy is obsessed with solving her husband’s murder, which proves difficult due to her delicate psyche. Highly recommend for fans of psychological thrillers/mysteries.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    It's been a year since Poppy lost her husband, Jack, who was brutally murdered during a run through Manhattan's Riverside Park. She has never truly gotten over his death. And stranger still is the fact that Poppy disappeared after the funeral and later shows up in a tight red dress before collapsing. Poppy doesn't have a clue to what happened to her during those days, and the murder of Jack is still unsolved. Poppy is having nightmares and blackouts, and she has problems telling the difference b It's been a year since Poppy lost her husband, Jack, who was brutally murdered during a run through Manhattan's Riverside Park. She has never truly gotten over his death. And stranger still is the fact that Poppy disappeared after the funeral and later shows up in a tight red dress before collapsing. Poppy doesn't have a clue to what happened to her during those days, and the murder of Jack is still unsolved. Poppy is having nightmares and blackouts, and she has problems telling the difference between what is real and what's not. And now, she feels that she's being followed. Could it be all the pills she's taking or is someone actually following her? READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sherri Thacker

    Under My Skin is about a woman who has lost her husband in a horrific crime one early morning while he was jogging. The story goes back and forth between the real time and her dreams but she can’t figure out what was real, what was a dream. I found myself getting confused many times during this book but I wanted to find out if they found the killer(s). I enjoyed this book and will look for more books written by Lisa Unger. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to re Under My Skin is about a woman who has lost her husband in a horrific crime one early morning while he was jogging. The story goes back and forth between the real time and her dreams but she can’t figure out what was real, what was a dream. I found myself getting confused many times during this book but I wanted to find out if they found the killer(s). I enjoyed this book and will look for more books written by Lisa Unger. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    This is a story about Poppy and her journey after her husband Jack is brutally beaten to death while out for an early morning run. A run that they usually do together,except that morning, Poppy was ill and opted to stay in bed. Think how guilty you would feel that you weren't there with Jack. That maybe your extra presence could have prevented it. Is that what is going on with Poppy? We are taken for a wild ride inside Poppy's head a year after the murder of Jack. Her entire life has unraveled. This is a story about Poppy and her journey after her husband Jack is brutally beaten to death while out for an early morning run. A run that they usually do together,except that morning, Poppy was ill and opted to stay in bed. Think how guilty you would feel that you weren't there with Jack. That maybe your extra presence could have prevented it. Is that what is going on with Poppy? We are taken for a wild ride inside Poppy's head a year after the murder of Jack. Her entire life has unraveled. She literally can't tell what is a dream and what is reality. So much so, that she has started to take pictures of herself with others to prove to herself later that these things really occurred. She is desperately trying to find out the truth of what happened the day she lost Jack forever. Made even more difficult by the fact that she feels like she is literally losing her mind. The killer is still on the loose and there are no leads. She is searching for the truth but is spiraling out of control by self medicating with pills and alcohol to escape. Thank goodness she has her BFF since 8th grade, Layla and her husband Mac who take her in and care for her. This book had a very interesting premise. It was suggested that Poppy is suffering from a condition called hypnagogia. Which I am a nurse and I have never even heard of this. I looked it up and it states it can be brought on by anxiety, insomnia, stress, drug and alcohol use. Looks like we have the poster child for this condition with Poppy. So Unger really put a very unique story line out there and researched it well. Even though this was a very interesting concept, I had trouble keeping track of what was going on. I know this was done on purpose so that we could experience what Poppy was. Even so, it became a bit difficult to truly be lost in the story when you were struggling to follow along. I still did in fact enjoy reading this ARC and this is where I am going to struggle to rate it because I feel it is not quite a 4 but not a 3 star. So that leaves 3.5 stars from me. Thank you so much to Lisa Unger, Harlequin and NetGalley for the ARC.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Darinda

    Poppy is grieving the loss of her husband. It has been a year since he was murdered, and the case has not been solved. Soon after her husband's death, Poppy disappeared from her family and friends for a few days. She never told them where she was or what she was doing, and, in fact, Poppy has blocked those days from her memory. Now that Poppy is attempting to move on, she wants to remember those days, and feels that if only she could regain her memories, she could discover what happened to her h Poppy is grieving the loss of her husband. It has been a year since he was murdered, and the case has not been solved. Soon after her husband's death, Poppy disappeared from her family and friends for a few days. She never told them where she was or what she was doing, and, in fact, Poppy has blocked those days from her memory. Now that Poppy is attempting to move on, she wants to remember those days, and feels that if only she could regain her memories, she could discover what happened to her husband. Poppy is a mess of a character. She is, understandably, devastated with the loss of her husband. She self-medicates and drinks too much to deal with her depression. The mixing of pills and alcohol causes Poppy to suffer from blackouts. She thinks that someone is following her, but she's not sure who or why. Since she's not the most stable person, it's hard to believe if she's really in danger. When Poppy is seems to be onto something that may lead to answers, she self-destructs. It's frustrating, but gripping. The story is told from Poppy's viewpoint, which is confusing and chaotic. An engaging and unpredictable psychological thriller. Dark, suspenseful, and twisty. I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rheama

    Dreams and pictures, pictures and dreams. Jack and Poppy are successful photographers, living a “picture perfect” life in New York. Until one cold morning when Jack unknowingly jogs to his death, the victim of a random act of city violence. Poppy is left to pick up the pieces of their life together, but she’s a haunted woman. More and more often, she simply breaks from reality. Are her visions real or dreams? Hallucinations or memories? Chemical induced phantoms or genuine ghosts? How can you sol Dreams and pictures, pictures and dreams. Jack and Poppy are successful photographers, living a “picture perfect” life in New York. Until one cold morning when Jack unknowingly jogs to his death, the victim of a random act of city violence. Poppy is left to pick up the pieces of their life together, but she’s a haunted woman. More and more often, she simply breaks from reality. Are her visions real or dreams? Hallucinations or memories? Chemical induced phantoms or genuine ghosts? How can you solve a murder if you can’t tell what’s real? Well. You can always take a picture to prove it’s all in your head. Or not. The mystery itself is intriguing, but this piece of suspense stands out from a hundred others because of Lisa Unger’s keen insight and poetic writing style. “The photos I thumbed through this morning - the night we met outside the gallery, a picture he snapped while I was reading, lounging on our bed after making love - that was a woman I’m sure existed only for him, with him. Our faces, our body language, the changing light of a room, every second is different than the one before or after. The photographer chooses one among the infinite. It’s both a lie, a trick of light, and an irrefutable truth.” Sprinkled through the book are variations of that one terrible morning when Jack never came home - each scene similar but changed enough that Jack escapes fate each time. This is Poppy’s deepest wish expressed in recurring dreams. It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking piece of the plot. Lisa Unger is a bit of a genius, I think. I’ve become a fan. I’d like to read the rest of her work. (P.S. As much as I love this book, I wish some of the characters hadn’t been filthy rich. Wealthy folks doing wealthy folk thangs? Can’t relate.) Thank you to the author, publisher, and Net Galley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review. My thoughts on this book can also be found on my blog, Cheap Thrill Book Reviews.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Wendi Lee

    *4.5 stars* Another stunning book by Lisa Unger! A year has gone by, but Poppy is still reeling from the unsolved murder of her husband, Jack. It doesn’t help that she lost time shortly after his funeral, or that her reality is being peppered with hallucinations of places she’s certain she’s never been, and people she’s never met. What happened to Jack? And is someone stalking Poppy, or is she slowly losing her mind? I loved this thriller. You feel unsteady the whole time you read, the scenes beau *4.5 stars* Another stunning book by Lisa Unger! A year has gone by, but Poppy is still reeling from the unsolved murder of her husband, Jack. It doesn’t help that she lost time shortly after his funeral, or that her reality is being peppered with hallucinations of places she’s certain she’s never been, and people she’s never met. What happened to Jack? And is someone stalking Poppy, or is she slowly losing her mind? I loved this thriller. You feel unsteady the whole time you read, the scenes beautiful and macabre, the whole novel very dream-like. Poppy was a wholly sympathetic character, and I loved how the mystery of what happened to Jack (and Poppy’s lost few days) unraveled. There’s a cameo of a beloved character from the Hollows series, and some of the characters from another Unger book have a strong role here as well. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an arc.

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