Cover Image: THE SKIN CODE


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Member Reviews

Yes, yes, yes.... this book gives you EVERYTHING you expect from this genre and more!

The synopsis alone had me excited more than any book I'd read in a while and the fact this was a new author for me just added to the intrigue. 

Detective Mary Hume is on the trail of one sick individual,  a serial killer who leaves a code with each victim.

The body of a young man is found dead in his Soho flat. On his bare chest are the numbers 1 4 3, carved into his skin whilst he was still alive.
The next victim is a vicar posed kneeling in the front pew with more numbers etched into his raw skin. What do these numbers mean?

Still reeling from a family tragedy Detective Hume now has to crack this case but to crack the case she will first have to crack this mysterious code left on the victims with the help of her small but amazing team.

DC Echo is one hell of a tech whizz and Raine is a Private Investigator after leaving the police force. Both of these characters bring just as much to the story as the lead character and as a team they work brilliantly together. I loved the jokey banter between the chara years which gave an element of entertainment to the whole story.

This is an amazingly gripping, gritty, creepy, tense and dramatic, exactly what you want and expect but are more often than not left disappointed with! Not this time.... I could not put this down for a second, it had me gripped vice like from start to finish.

This will most definitely not be the last book I read by this author and I cannot wait to see what next lies in store for DI Hume and her team!

Massive thanks to netgalley and Joffe Books for the ARC.
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A somewhat mutilated body has been found, obviously murdered, but with the added mystery of what turns out to be a code, carved into his torso!  Was it done while he was still alive and aware?  That's just one of the questions that Detective Inspector Mary Hume, and Detective Constable Echo find the answers to.  Soon DI Hume and DC Echo find that this was just the first dead body with a code carved into them!

We also meet Raine, who at one time was a Police officer, who left the force and is now a Private Detective, with an agenda of her own. I admit that Raine is my favorite character, with her attitude of not caring, who along with her cat lives on a houseboat.  

As a warning, this book is gruesome, violent and gory, but its also a well written mystery/thriller and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series by Stephen Williams.  It's a fast paced book, with twists and turns, as the Detectives work to solve the various codes on each murdered body.

I want to thank NetGalley, the Publisher, and especially the author for a great book, in exchange for an honest review.
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DI Mary Hume is and DC Echo are investigating the murder of a man with code carved into his torso.  Soon another body is found, with similar code also found carved into the victims body.  Then a third body.  They need to find the connection and find out who the killer is before they strike again.  Hume’s maverick friend and ex-colleague Raine is brought into as a contractor to help find the link.  Before long, DNA provides a link, not they just have to locate the perpetrator.
A new author for me and can easily see more of Hume and Raine in the future.  Likeable, complex characters, wanting to find the truth in all they do.
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A new author for me and the first book in a hew series.
The characters in this book are interesting and likable which for me is important in a new series. This is definitely a very promising start to the series and I will definitely be buying the second book. 
This is not for the faint hearted as it is very graphic and gory.
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I really enjoyed this book. It was quite gory and gruesome in parts.  In fact I was actually cringing reading some of it.

Hume and Echo are great characters.  I'm not too sure about Raine.  There's obviously a backstory there that will hopefully unfold in future books.

I raced through this and did not want to put it down.

A great book that I won't hesitate to recommend to fellow crime book fans.
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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this eARC. 

This is my first read by this author and gosh what a thrilling read it was. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like this - it was chilling, quite creepy and a real page turner of a read. It began with the assault of a young woman which is witnessed and stopped by a Private Investigator. I really liked the three main characters here. Hume and Echo investigate a murder of a young man with strange markings on his chest. When more murders follow with similar markings they struggle with understanding what they mean and Raine is on the periphery of their investigation helping them while also investigating a missing person case. I loved the rapport between Hume and Echo, especially Humes put downs when Echo tries to explain computer terms to her. Raine is a very interesting character, with a don’t care attitude and is tenacious and very determined. I found myself really liking and rooting for her throughout the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this read, it was well written and flowed really well, and I liked that the story was told through the three main characters. There is a lot of computer jargon which I got the basic gist of and this is integral to the plot and storyline. The book raced to a final and fitting conclusion with all the story threads coming together nicely and I found the last part of the book to be a real edgy, thrilling read which definitely had the wow factor. I can’t wait for the next book to see what Stephen Williams has in store for his readers, if this one is anything to go by it will be very good. I’d recommend this book if you like a good, solid police procedural with great characters.
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I hesitated to read something with such gruesome crimes (numbers carved in the victims, who might have been fully aware of what was happening to them?  Blech!), but the investigators sounded terrific.  In fact, the characters are excellent.  There’s Mary Hume, an experienced woman detective, with Echo, her junior sidekick who is good at tech and prone to nattering on about the details until Hume impatiently shuts him up.  Add in quirky and mysterious Raine, once on the police force but now a private investigator who lives on a boat with her cat.  Together, the three investigators use their complementary skills to solve the series of grisly murders while Raine also conducts her own investigation on a separate drug issue.  A well-done thriller featuring a team I hope to see again.

Thanks to Netgalley and Joffe Books for a digital advance review copy.
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This is a new author for me and I’ll definitely read more if his books. 
This is a gripping crime thriller about a twisted killer determined to get rid of certain people. 
The killer carves symbols into the bodies of his victims and it takes Hume and Echo a while to work out what they mean. 
Raine is on hand to provide insight into the crimes but also has her hands full with a case of her own. 
I loved the dynamic between all the main characters and I’m hoping this is a start of a new series. 
Thanks to Joffe Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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The skin code I flew through this book and although I have been deliberately obtuse in regard to the plot, all I can say is, read it – I don’t want to give any little detail away.  I don’t want to ruin the experience of this spectacular mystery thriller.  Every clue leads down a solitary road and believe me, it’s one you want to travel.  This book is worth the cerebral investment and your brain will relish the time taken to pick apart the details.
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Dark, Gruesome…
A serial killer is at large. His trademark? A code, carved into the skin of his victims. But, what does it mean? Detective Mary Hume knows that the only way to catch the killer is to crack the code - but can this be done before the killer strikes again? She may need some help - enter ex officer Raine. With a well crafted cast of characters, a disturbing and intriguing premise and a pacy plot augmented with a deft narrative this is a dark and gruesome tale indeed.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was totally immersed throughout. Excellent characters that thankfully are not as clichéd as most cop/PI relationships are. The storyline is original and quite fascinating. The book has ended with a cliffhanger that promises a fabulous follow up book which I eagerly anticipate.
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Thank you NetGalley and Joffe Books for the copy of The Skin Code. Wow what a great read! The characters were the star attraction for me and overshadowed the story of the killings, even though the story was great and really kept me guessing. I hope we see Hume, Echo, and Raine in another book because they were amazingly well-defined. I loved how they all had their own strengths and weaknesses but together they made a powerhouse trio of crime solvers and how the relationships between them grew throughout the book. 
Echo’s tech knowhow was a huge part of the story and I enjoyed remembering some of the things from the past he brought up (no spoilers here). I also loved how current tech was used and explained in the story. If you‘re looking for a well-written book with great characters and a story that will keep you guessing, run out and buy this book. You won’t be sorry!
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy of The Skin Code, the first novel to feature DI Mary Hume of the Met and PI Raine.

Mary knows she is hunting a deranged killer when a body is found with the numbers 1 4 3 carved into his chest. Then a vicar is found in his church, killed in the same way but with different numbers carved in his chest. Will cracking the numbers code find the killer? Mary and her DC, Echo, are determined to find out.

I enjoyed The Skin Code to a point. I like the concept and broad brushstrokes of the plot, which are different from the norm in serial killer novels, but it gets bogged down in the detail or maybe it was just me that got bogged down. I have no knowledge of computer coding or the gaming community and even less interest, both of which are integral to the plot so it all went over my head. I feel that I missed something in this lack of understanding. I did, on the other hand, have some understanding of the profiling and the concepts involved, but I didn’t find it particularly credible and felt that it was overly laboured.

In the meantime Raine is working her own case, initially a missing person that soon expands into feuding with a local drugs gang and providing information for Mary’s case as a bonus. This has all the hallmarks of a thread which will continue into future novels.

I feel as if I have concentrated on the bits I didn’t like about the novel so far and that’s a bit unfair as it has plenty of pluses as well. It is fast paced and I liked the way Raine hovers at the edge of Mary’s investigation, doing it her way and pushing the plot forward. If you ignore the geeky detail it is a page turner. I also like the characterisation. Raine is definitely an oddball with tragedy in her past, and who follows her own code. She can be violent but she’s likeable and you can’t help rooting for her. Mary and Echo have a great working relationship so their dialogue is often humorous and has a natural feel.

The Skin Code is a promising start to a new series.  3.5*
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I love a good serial killer book, and this one seemed uber interesting based on the premise. However, for me (and based on other reviews, I seem to be in the minority), this one fell a little flat. The subplots in this book, while mostly connected to the main plot, were a little boring for me. Personally, I’m not a big fan of reading about drugs, and that was a big part of this book. So it just didn’t work for me – but I’m sure it would be good for others. Due to that, I found those parts a little boring. However, I REALLY enjoyed the psychological analysis behind the killer, the figuring out the code, and the ending left on a cliff hanger that left me wanting more.
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This one was not for me I am afraid. Thank you for the opportunity to review. Could not get into it at all
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Detective Mary Hume is on the trail of a vicious serial killer. A killer who leaves a baffling code into the skin of his victims. The first victim, a young man lies spread eagled 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: a vicar, murdered and mutilated in his own church, his body posed kneeling in the front pew. Etched in his torso are more cryptic numbers, Detective Mary Hume knows that to crack the case, she must crack the code.

A serial killer leaves his victims with a code carved into their bodies. Once you pick this book up, you won't want to put it back down again. Detective Mary Hume and her partner Echo are investigating a serial killer. Ex-Detective Raine has just saved a girl from being mugged, she was working on a missing persons case. The murder victims are a mixed bunch, there doesn't seem to be any connection to them. This well written and gruesome read held my attention throughout.

I would like to thank #NetGalley #JoffeBooks and the author #StephenWilliams for my ARC of #TheSkinCode in exchange for an honest review.
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This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, Joffe Books and  by #NetGalley. Opinions expressed are completely my own. 

Fast paced, brilliant story.
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Brilliant read.
A serial killer is on the loose they leave the victims with some sort of codes carved into their bodies.Mary Hume and her partner Echo must find out what links the victims and quickly.
Raine is now a P.I after leaving the police force and as well as her own case she gets involved in parts of Hume's case.
This was a really creepy read just what I enjoy the ending definitely left me wanting more.I loved the relationship between all of the main  3 characters and hope this will be the first in many books based on them.
Thanks to Netgalley and Joffe books for the ARC
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Now this is what i call a crime thriller and so much more. I literally devoured this book in one sitting and I have no nails left. A man has been found dead with some letters carved into their chest. What do these letters mean? Detective Mary Hume is still reeling from a family tragedy. DC Echo a Maori is a tech wizard and Raine a female PI  a very complex and broken woman are this unusual team. I love the banter and one liners between Hume and Echo and as for Raine just outstanding. This book deserves more than five stars just for pure entertainment. I really hope that this is the start of a new series. A new author for me and and who goes straight to the top of my reading pile. A very happy reader. 
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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If I could rate this book with six stars it still wouldn’t be enough.
I know it’s subjective, but for me this is the best book I’ve read this year.
Raine and Hume should be the next big thing in crime fiction.
Wonderful characters brilliantly engaging.
A truly gruesome series of crimes.
All set in London, all easily believable.
Hopefully the start of a series.
Can you tell I liked it.
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