Break the Skin, by author Lee Martin
Break the Skin

The next work of taut, dark, and beautifully crafted literary fiction by the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Bright Forever.

Laney—a skinny, awkward teenager alone in the world--thinks she's found a kindred spirit in thirty-five-year old Delilah. "When I was with her," Laney says, "I felt closest to being the person I was meant to be...We could have been sisters, big and little, which some people thought we were." Then the police come to ask Laney questions and she finds herself reconstructing a story of suspense, deceit, and revenge, but also "a story of love, no matter how roughed up and ugly and stained." 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 starts 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 a novel about "wanting to matter to someone, wanting it so badly that you did things you never could have imagined, and you swore they were right, all for the sake of love."