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Isabel's Skin by Peter Benson

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Peter Benson is an author to follow. I have come across him late, reading his last comic crime tale, Two Cows and a Vanful of Smoke (brilliant) with great joy so I was much looking forward to this, not realising I was in for a big surprise, even the style is different. I do admire an author who can enthral me right across many genres. This is period gothic, an Edwardian mystery with a chilling atmosphere, an old country house, screams in the night, that sort of thing - wonderfully done - and then it turns very sinister, not at all what I had expected. A wonderful read.

If you like Peter Benson you might also like to read books by Christopher Brookmyre, Eowyn Ivey and Simon Lewis.


Isabel's Skin by Peter Benson

David Morris lives the quiet life of a book-valuer for a London auction house, travelling every day by omnibus to his office in the Strand. When he is asked to make a trip to rural Somerset to value the library of the recently deceased Lord Buff-Orpington, the sense of trepidation he feels as he heads into the country is confirmed the moment he reaches his destination, the dark and impoverished village of Ashbrittle. These feelings turn to dread when he meets the enigmatic Professor Richard Hunt and catches a glimpse of a screaming woman he keeps prisoner in his house.


Reviews for Peter Benson:

'One of the most distinctive voices in modern British fiction.' Evening Standard

'Vividly, defiantly realistic at times, luridly surreal at others, his writing’s ability to compound striking metaphors of the abstract with a graphic physicality has won him a deserved following.' The Times Literary Supplement

'A sharp stylist.' Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Peter Benson

Born in 1956, Peter Benson was educated in Ramsgate, Canterbury and Exeter. His first novel, The Levels, won the Guardian Fiction Prize. This was followed by A Lesser Dependency, winner of the Encore award, The Other Occupant, which was awarded the Somerset Maugham Award, and three more novels: Odo's Hanging, Riptide and A Private Moon. He has also published short stories, screenplays and poetry, and his work has been adapted for TV and radio and translated into many languages. He lives in Exeter with his wife.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Peter Benson

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