Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ted Dekker's Skin ~ Reviewed

By Ted Dekker
Published by WestBow Press
ISBN-10: 1595542779

“Hello, Colt. It’s payback time. Red”

The red words painted on a gray door plunge police officer Colt Jackson into battle with Sterling Red, serial killer. But Colt isn’t the only person Red has a personal agenda against.

As a freak storm ravages Nevada, traveler Wendy Davidson is waylaid on her journey to Utah when she comes across a stranded brother and sister seeking emergency medical care. Wendy takes Carey and Nicole Swartz to Summerville, only to find the town under siege with a killer on the loose.

Waved down by Wendy, Colt takes the trio to the doctor’s house. Relief is short-lived however when a tornado hits Summerville and the four find themselves trapped in the basement.

Morning arrives, and with it comes a few surprises.

Colt, Wendy, Carey, and Nicole are soon joined by Jerry Pinkus. Thrown together by circumstance, the random group find themselves targeted by Red, and soon discovers a commonality ties their fates together.

As Red manipulates them and what they perceive as reality, the five must overcome their differences and suspicions to save themselves and the townsfolk.

Ted Dekker’s latest offering isn’t for the faint-hearted. More cutting edge than SHOWDOWN or HOUSE, Dekker takes readers on a ride which twists and turns to the very end.

Following on the heels of SHOWDOWN, HOUSE, and SAINT, all of which contain supernatural elements, SKIN is Dekker’s first novel since THR3E that twists its way to a natural, yet unpredictable, ending.

This is Dekker’s first general market release, which is probably a good thing. His delivery is sure to raise voices within CBA. As SKIN explores the question of true beauty, bodies pile up and ensure that this isn’t a cozy read. Despite the general market release, Dekker is quick to assure readers that SKIN isn’t much different from his previous books. It contains a strong metaphoric message, but without the obvious Christian labels. As a Christian reader, I found SKIN’s theme to be just as powerful as Dekker’s earlier books. There is no watering down here.

Readers of Dekker’s previous works will notice each book from the Circle Trilogy series on contain subtle tie-ins. SKIN is no different. Although the connection to the earlier books is minimal, Dekker has revealed in recent interviews that SKIN shares a mirror scene with an upcoming young adult book, part of a series which will expand on the Circle Trilogy. If you haven’t read any of Dekker’s previous books, then don’t fear. SKIN is a complete standalone which can be enjoyed as such. However, delving into the Circle Trilogy, SHOWDOWN, SAINT, and HOUSE will give you added enjoyment to the experience.

If you’re looking for a book with strong characters, snappy dialogue, and a mind-bending plot, then SKIN is just the book for you. Putting it down late at night will be your only problem.

Reviewed by Vennessa Ng

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