The Skin Code by Stephen Williams #BookReview #BlogTour #JoffeBooks #Books’n’AllPromotions #5*


Can you crack the code?

Detective Mary Hume is on the trail of a vicious serial killer. A killer who leaves a baffling code carved into the skin of his victims.

The first victim, a young man, lies spreadeagled in his stylish Soho flat. Carved deep into his hairless chest — while he was still alive — are the numbers 1-4-3.

The second victim is a vicar — murdered and mutilated in his own church, his body posed kneeling in the front pew. Etched into his torso are more cryptic numbers.

Detective Inspector Mary Hume knows that to crack the case, she must crack the code. And to do that, she needs the help of maverick ex-police officer Raine, who can reach places — and people — that Mary can’t.

Now the killer has their next victim in sight . . .


Detective Inspector Mary Hume is in her mid-fifties, a seasoned detective with the Met. She loves her job, but finds the latest technology a challenge. She’s happily married to Robert, practises yoga and watches what she eats. Her friendship with maverick private investigator Raine is fine on the surface — even though Raine’s deep-fried diet fills her with horror — but there are underlying tensions.

Raine is a former police officer turned private investigator. She left the Met in tragic circumstances. She uses irreverent banter and off-colour jokes to cover her quick thinking and sudden flashes of violence. In her mid-thirties, she lives on a houseboat in central London, which she shares with her cat, Melania.

A Clever, Original Concept!

A smart thriller which kept me on my toes right to the very end!

Detective Mary Hume’s latest case has her completely bamboozled; a body with numbers carved really deeply into the chest. Then a second body turns up, again with more strange carvings. In order to crack this case, she obviously needs to understand what the numbers mean. Desperate to get some leads before another body turns up, Hume brings in her friend Raine – ex-cop without the restrictions of the force – to assist. But the killer already has his next victim in his sights . . .

I’m always excited to come across an author new to me and Stephen Williams has created a very cleverly thought out crime thriller which held me in it’s thrall from the very beginning – oh, I really hope this is going to turn into a series! The reasoning behind the code is so smart! While the main focus is, of course, on the crime there are tantalising glimpses of the private lives of both Hume and Raine and I would love to find out more about both of them. Suspenseful, exciting and so very hard to put down once you’ve picked it up, this is a definite five star read and one I happily recommend to all lovers of a great, gripping crime thriller.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy and to Jill Burkinshaw for my spot on this tour; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: crime thriller

Author Details

Stephen lives in rural North Yorkshire with his family. He splits his time between the brutal beauty of the Dales and the frenetic energy of London.  He has written several crime novels, including the international bestseller Tuesday Falling. They also contain some good jokes.

He has also performed at the Leeds Playhouse, devised several ‘pop-up’ theatrical events and written lyrics for bands.

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