Post Script: Skin Deep – Gary Kemble

Cover Skin Deep

Skin Deep

Gary Kemble

Echo Publishing

ISBN: 9781760068172



When washed up journalist Harry Hendrick wakes with a hangover and a strange symbol tattooed on his neck, he shrugs it off as a bad night out.


When more tattoos appear — accompanied by visions of war-torn Afghanistan, bikies, boat people, murder, bar fights and a mysterious woman — he begins to dig a little deeper.


Harry’s search leads him to Jess McGrath. She’s successful, married; they are drawn to each other though they have nothing in common but unwanted tattoos and high definition nightmares. Together, they edge closer to unearthing the truth behind the sinister disappearance of an SAS hero and his girlfriend Kyla.


There’s a federal election looming, with pundits tipping a landslide win for opposition leader Andrew Cardinal. Harry knows there’s a link between these disturbing visions and Cardinal’s shadowy past, and is compelled to right wrongs, one way or another.


Skin Deep is the thrilling, layered, genre-bending debut novel of Brisbane author and journalist Gary Kemble.


‘Gary Kemble’s debut novel is an imaginative, fast-paced page-turner that combines crime-writing with a delightful serving of the supernatural.’ — Books+Publishing


‘With an intense and immediate sense of place, a cracking pace and a great everyman hero, Skin Deep is by turns thrilling and haunting, and will keep readers glued to the page.’ — Angela Slatter, Aurealis Award-winning author (less)




My View:

If you want a book that will keep you reading till 4am then this book is for you! This reader was exhausted but satisfied when the last page was turned.


Frenetically paced, tension packed, great characters with a narrative that manages to encompass so much – corruption, politics – internal and external, war, asylum, greed, relationships, work…I could go on…an all woven so deftly into this incredible tale of justice and retribution. I don’t know how this author packed so much into one book without it becoming cumbersome or bogged down with issues. This narrative flowed, this narrative reached out and grabbed me by the throat and didn’t let go until the last page was read!


This book has been touted as a genre mash up –and maybe that is what I found so refreshing and unique about this book. It is an action adventure, a paranormal crime thriller, a story of life and regrets and bikies and drugs and corrupt land developers and crime and politics and abuse, and…a little bit of everything else but all balanced and all with its own place in this narrative. If I was to describe this book I would probably settle on two words, crime thriller – the rest of the descriptors are just the stuff that makes this narrative interesting and compelling reading.


A great read. You won’t be disappointed if you pick this book up – tired maybe but not disappointed. 🙂






3 thoughts on “Post Script: Skin Deep – Gary Kemble

  1. Interesting, Carol. Mashups aren’t easy to pull off; if they’re not done deftly, they can seem disjointed. But it sounds as though that didn’t happen here, and I’m glad to hear it.

  2. Pingback: Last But Not Least – A Fantastic Four Book Give Away – Reading, Writing and Riesling

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