Skin by Ted Dekker

I delayed reading Skin for several months primarily because of the cover. Oh, I’m a Dekker fan and bought the book a)because BJ is also a fan and b)I wanted to read it. But I’m not a big “horror” reader and the cover (pictured below) coupled with the title made me think this was a horror book.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, I’ll go on record as to say that I think the book is mis-titled and the cover was horribly chosen; it doesn’t represent the story at all.

And it’s a good one, too…the story, I mean.

So after I purchased it, it sat on my book shelf for a while just looking at me. Truthfully, I was in no hurry to read it. But, I needed something to read last week and knew that I could rely on Dekker to deliver a good story, even if it was in a genre’ that wasn’t really at the top of my list.

As I began to read Skin, I kept looking for the horror aspects of it…but it never showed. 200 pages into the book, I actually got a little agitated because I was thoroughly enjoying the book but could see no relevance to the title or the cover.

In a nutshell, (and I can’t give the story away because BJ has yet to read it) five characters are drawn together in a small town out west. What draws them together is a serial killer who is after each of them with the goal of getting them to commit suicide. Several coincidences get them together, but what seems like story flaws are tied together nicely in the end so that it’s not really coincidence at all.

Dekker has created four very interesting characters (yes, one of them isn’t developed at all) and the pages turn quickly. It’s hard to put down. And that’s a good thing. Several of the minor characters are developed just enough to be interesting and to add flavor.

The ending has an incredibly interesting twist that we do not anticipate and that ties the title to the story. The twist works and is very good, but it’s a poor attempt to tie the title to the story. His editor should have worked with him to change it. J

However, the last 2 pages completely ticked me off. In essence, Dekker gave us a great story…then ended with a “to be continued” or a question mark at the end of “the end?” It is a too blatant attempt to set up book 2.

Those things aside, I do recommend this book on the strength of Dekker’s story and writing alone.

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