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Break the Skin

A Novel

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Laney—a skinny, awkward teenager alone in the world—thinks she’s found a kindred spirit in thirty-five-year-old Delilah. Then the police come to ask Laney questions and she finds herself reconstructing a story of suspense, deceit, and revenge; a story that will haunt her forever.

Seven hundred miles away, in Texas, Miss Baby has the hardened heart of a woman who has been used by men in every possible way, yet she is desperate for true love. When she meets a stranger, a man who claims he can’t remember his real name or his past but who seems gentle and trusting, Miss Baby thinks she may have finally found someone to love, someone who will protect her from the abusive men who fill her past.

But Miss Baby and Laney are connected by a terrible crime, and, bit by bit, the complex web of deceptions and seemingly small misjudgments they’ve each helped to create start to unravel. Action, speculation, and contradiction play off one another as the story is told through their first-person voices, which keep you nervously guessing all the way to the shocking, tragic climax. Break the Skin is expert storyteller Lee Martin at his very best.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 25, 2011 – An uncomfortably close friendship torn apart by jealousy lies at the center of Martin's provocative new novel. When Laney Volk, a high school dropout, goes to work at Wal-Mart, she meets beautiful, stubborn Delilah Dade and dark, sinister Rose MacAdow, both almost twice her age. Delilah invites Laney to live with her and, despite the generation gap, they become very close, eventually sharing their bond with Rose. But Delilah and Rose's friendship unravels when they pursue the same man, a musician called Tweet. When Delilah suspects that Rose may have cast a satanic spell on her, she and Laney start messing around with guns, with help from Laney's boyfriend, Lester. Meanwhile, several states away, a lonely, desperate tattoo artist going by "Miss Baby" takes in a man who is either suffering from amnesia or hiding from his past, and convinces him that he's her husband. Crackling with dark deeds and bad intentions, Martin (The Bright Forever, a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize) snakes through the lives of the desperate without casting pity. The na ve Laney, splitting narration duties with Miss Baby, has a sharp eye for detail even if she lacks the framework in which to assemble them.
Break the Skin
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Jun 14, 2011
  • Publisher: Crown/Archetype
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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