Beneath the Skin by Caroline England – Guest Post

Summary from Goodreads

No-one remembers your past. But you do.

‘Antonia, Antonia. My name is Antonia.’

It’s been her name for many years. But sometimes, like tonight, she forgets.

Antonia has a secret. A secret so dark and so deep that she can barely admit it to herself. Instead, she treats herself to Friday night sessions of self-harm while her husband David is at the pub, and her best friend Sophie is drinking too much wine a few doors down.

Nobody close to her knows the truth about what the teenage Antonia saw all those years ago. No-one, that is, except her mother. But Candy is in a care home now, her mind too addled to remember the truth. Antonia is safe. Isn’t she?

The lies start small. They always do. But when the tightly woven story you’ve told yourself begins to unravel, the truth threatens to come to the surface. And then what’s going to happen?

Paperback, 362 pages
Expected publication: October 5th 2017 by Avon

Film and television influences

Film noir – When I was a child there weren’t a million television channels, reality TV or the internet, so watching a Saturday afternoon film was a treat. My mum was a big fan of the movies, so we’d settle down to a good old black and white film noir. In my child’s eyes, too many seemed to star Humphrey Bogart (too ugly) or James Cagney (too small) but I was transfixed by films such as Gaslight, Notorious, Suspicion, Indiscreet and Rebecca. All the Hitchcock films were just brilliant. In more recent times I have loved LA Confidential, Blade Runner, Chinatown, Angel Heart. I guess I must like a story with darkness at its heart!

Dark humour – Here I go again! But I love films that are compelling and make me laugh at the same time. Humour is so important! One of my favourite films overall is In Bruges. Colin Farrell plays the hapless Ray to perfection. Other great films are Shallow Grave, The Ladykillers and Trainspotting. And if you’ve never watched Arsenic and Old Lace, do! Cary Grant is brilliant (you may have noticed I’m a fan!) On the TV side, the tragic-comedy Fleabag was just perfect.

Romantic Comedy – Who can’t resist a good old Richard Curtis film? Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill? Yup, watched them a fair few times. And my youngest daughter and I still haven’t got bored watching The Wedding Date.

Low budget independent films – I love thoughtful, character-driven films about friendship, love and human frailties – sins, regrets and guilt. Films such as The Weekend, Unrelated, Mister John, Shame, Secrets and Lies are excellent. Undertow was ingenious as the story of hidden love was taken to another spiritual level. Talking about friendship, love and frailty, my top TV series was Being Human. It was brilliantly written and acted, the attachments and compulsions, conflicts and forgivenesses were so captivating.

Killer twists – I’m a big fan of surprises and I hope I keep my readers guessing as secrets slowly unfurl. However, this makes me too alert to them when I read a novel or watch TV. I drive my family nuts by guessing the murderer or the twist mid-way through a drama, so there aren’t many films where I don’t see it coming. Some of the best film reveals are Chinatown, The Usual Suspects, Primal Fear, Shutter Island, but the best for me was the end of The Sixth Sense.

 

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