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Break the Skin by Lee Martin - Excerpt

Break the Skin by Lee Martin - Excerpt

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4.06

(16)
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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.

To read more about Break the Skin or Lee Martin please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpublishing.com.
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.

To read more about Break the Skin or Lee Martin please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpublishing.com.

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Publish date: Jun 14, 2011
Added to Scribd: May 12, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are theproduct of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actualpersons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.Copyright © 2011 by Lee MartinAll rights reserved.Published in the United States by Crown, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group,a division of Random House, Inc., New York.www.crownpublishing.comCROWN and the Crown colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataMartin, Lee, 1955-Break the skin : a novel / Lee Martin. — 1st ed.p. cm.I. Title.PS3563.A724927B74 2011813'.54—dc222011003329ISBN 978-0-307-71675-0 eISBN 978-0-307-71677-4 Printed in the United States of America
 Book design by Lynne Amft Jacket design by Jennifer O’Connor Jacket photograph by Lyn Hughes/Corbis
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1First Edition

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dgmlrhodes reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This was a really interesting book. There is an underlying mystery that is revealed gradually over the course of the book. The story is told from the perspective of two women - Lainey and Miss Baby. They both care for a character "Lester" aka Donnie. Each has a similar but very different relationship in that both women are desperate for love and attention and are willing to do anything for it.The characters are very well developed. I have a penchant for strong female lead characters, and well, these don't fit that bill. Each of the female characters in this book are weak willed and are willing to do anything to get attention of their friends and to be loved. However, these flaws did make them interesting characters, I just didn't like them! The book is a really interesting read due to the underlying mystery. I enjoyed the unveiling layer by layer despite my dislike of the female characters in the book. It was woven together very nicely and made for an enjoyable read.Reader received a complimentary copy from Good Reads First Reads.
kalky_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
BREAK THE SKIN by Lee Martin is an incredibly well written book told from the alternating viewpoints of two women. Laney and Baby are both yearning for happiness, and for them and the other women in this dark tale, happiness means love. Love is elusive though, and the women’s desperation makes them willing to embrace lies, magic, and delusion as they follow the rocky path laid out in Martin’s taut story.That path begins with Laney as she is taken out of New Gilead, Illinois’s Walmart in handcuffs. From the opening pages of the book, my heart ached for this “nothing kind of girl” who hangs on to people who show her any bit of care and concern with a desperation that you can understand even as you want to shake some sense into her.The other storyteller in the book is Miss Baby, a tattoo artist in Denton, Texas and not “the girlie sort who could turn a man’s head,” but she’s as dreamy and warm-hearted as Laney. Those qualities, which should be sweet at best and mildly irritating at their worst instead lead to varying levels of misfortune for both women.Other major characters include Delilah, Rose, Lester, Tweet, and Poke – and they are all broken in some way and searching for something or someone to make them happy. In one conversation, Poke calls people like that “shiver spooks.” He explains that they’re “the ones close to coming apart, only no one sees that until it’s too late.”Despite the wretchedness of all of the characters, and the awfulness of much of what is discovered as their stories unfold, I loved this book. Lee Martin’s writing in BREAK THE SKIN, gives his characters incredible depth, but without committing paragraph after paragraph to descriptions and explanations. I think the term “tightly woven” is used too often in book reviews, but this book is just that.I’m new to Lee Martin’s books, but you can be assured I’ll be checking out his others, particularly the 2006 Pulitzer Prize finalist, THE BRIGHT FOREVER.
justablondemoment reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Absolutely loved this book. I found myself really caring for the characters. Martin did an excellent job with story flow and throughout the whole book I found myself completely absorbed in Miss Baby and Laneys lives. Highly recommend.
ebbith0115 reviewed this
I don't why but a can't finish this book I started reading this book 2 weeks ago and I'm still in page 55. I don't know if because I prefer to read YA and paranormal books, but maybe I will finish it in the future but not right now.
beautyisntperfect_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
A melancholy story about love and the crazy things that happen because of it. The story starts out with Little Bit, Laney Volk. A naive high school drop out who fell in with a woman who was more trouble than she was worth, as well as sweet Lester Stipp whose past is more troubled than Laney seems to realize. Laney tells her story from her end point and it seems that her hind sight is 20/20.Miss Baby, a strong Mexican woman hailing from Texas, would do just about anything to have someone to call her true love, and she does, when she meets a man that can't remember his past and she names him Donnie. Can love last under the pressures of false stories and dangerous men?In addition to the encompassing theme of just wanting to love and be loved there is the constant pressure of crimes unspoken. Something big happened for sure, but what, exactly? This was a very enjoyable read, the prose is excellent and the way the story unfolds keeps you guessing at the connection between the characters as well as the event that decides all of their fates.Highly recommended.
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