Delusions or Flashbacks?

Under My Skin - Lisa Unger

Some people go on Internet dates to meet that special someone or to just make some sort of connection to combat loneliness.  Poppy, the main character in Lisa Unger’s Under My Skin, goes on these dates to satisfy her need for physical affection without wanting to ever talk the person again.  It can be a risky undertaking, and she has been flirting with recklessness ever since losing her husband the year before.  Poppy and Jack were just getting started with a new photography agency, an upgrade in their living arrangements, and attempts to have a baby together when Jack was killed. He was attacked while out for a run one morning, and Poppy is filled with guilt because she did not accompany that day as usual.  Right after his death, Poppy had a breakdown, disappearing for days with no memory of where she was or what she was doing during that time.  Her best friend from childhood and coworkers keep a close eye on her as she struggles to keep up with the business and maintain her sanity.  Poppy can’t bring herself to unpack the boxes in the new apartment, and she has been turning increasingly to overly self-medicating.  When she thinks she is being followed, she contacts the detective who is still investigating Jack’s death.  He tells her that some new evidence has come to light that might indicate that Jack’s death was not a random attack.  Poppy experiences flashes of former events, but are they just dreams or real memories?  Could she be losing her tenuous grip on reality or is her subconscious trying to send her a message?  Seeking answers, Poppy searches the city for the places and people she has envisioned.  Meanwhile, she also is torn by some unexpected feelings for one of her Internet dates whose persistence both comforts and unnerves her.  Poppy increasingly takes chances and chases after danger as she gets closer to discovering the truth about her missing days.  Her discoveries cause her to question her assumptions about her marriage and wonder about the secrets that may have been simmering beneath its happy facade. Unger’s novel is a solid page-turner with some good twists and well-developed characters.  Under My Skin should be well-received by Unger’s current followers, and would also appeal to fans of A.J. Finn, Ruth Ware and Paula Hawkins.