Firstly I would like to thank KEARA DONNACHIE of SANDSTONE PRESS LTD for inviting me to read and review STRONGER THAN SKIN by STEPHEN MAY
Mark Chadwick is cycling home from work, eager to get back to his pregnant wife Katy and two children, when he sees the police calling at his house. He knows exactly why they are there and he knows that the world he has carefully constructed over twenty deliberately uneventful years is about to fall apart. He could lose everything.
A story of a toxic love gone wrong, with a setting that moves easily between present day London and 1990s Cambridge, Stronger Than Skin is compulsively readable, combining a gripping narrative with a keen eye for the absurdities of the way we live now.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
So I started to read this book and thought ok sounds like this bloke has a lovely little family. Mark Chadwick, who is telling the story, is trying to reclaim some of the fitness that he once had, by riding a bike bought for him by his pregnant wife. She is at home with their two children but as he rounds the corner he sees police going to his house. My first thought was something has happened to his family, then I was thrown because Mark did not speed up to get to the police officers, no, he sped up to get past as quickly as he could without being seen. What the hell, I thought, what has he done?
Well talk about a book getting your attention, because I soon realised that I would only find out as the past caught up with the present when the story dropped back to the 1990’s to shuffle back and forth with present day until they became one. Mark Chadwick had been sat on a time bomb and someone had lit the fuse! I was hooked and going nowhere. This was like book Cluedo, I knew something had happened, I didn’t know who was involved or where it had all gone down, but I was determined that I would find out!
Stephen May didn’t over crowd his novel with lots of bystanders, each character had a purpose, a past, the present and shockingly not always a future. It was fascinating to see how the different roles of people in Mark’s life altered his character when he was with them and how quickly circumstances could change what really mattered to him. This is a story of lust, love and betrayal, where emotions run high and circumstances are not always of ones own making. An awesome read.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephen May’s first novel TAG was longlisted for Wales Book of The Year and won the Media Wales Reader’s Prize. His second, Life! Death! Prizes! was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Novel Award and The Guardian Not The Booker Prize. He also collaborates on performance pieces with theatre-makers, artists, film-makers, musicians and dancers.