1-18 - Book Review: SKINTed Dekker
Thomas Nelson

A freak storm has spawned three tornadoes that are bearing down on the town of Summerville. Yet under the cover of the storm looms a much more ominous threat: A vindictive killer known as Red who’s left a string of victims in his wake and is now bent on exacting his final revenge on the unsuspecting town. But there is an enigma surrounding Red that the FBI is unwilling to admit – closely guarded secrets of something gone terribly wrong beneath the skin of Summerville. Secrets that will destroy far more than one small town. Wendy Davidson is caught in the middle. She’s a recovering cult survivor who takes refuge in Summerville on her way to visit her estranged mother. And with her, four strangers, any one of whom could be the next victim…or the killer.

Since the beginning of the 21st Century, Ted Dekker has been writing stories with a style that I can describe as having the styles of Dean Koontz and James Patterson genetically cloned and raised by C. S. Lewis in his later fiction writing years. That is to say, he writes thrillers that have just enough science fiction and horror injected and presented in a very cinematic style as to make it equal parts fascinating yet quick to read and digest. And like Stephen King’s Dark Tower mythos in connection to many of his other novels, Dekker has also tied in a lot of his output with a tie-in with his popular Circle/Showdown saga. Just look it up, it’s fascinating.

Skin, released in 2007, is another that has a bit of a tie-in with the Circle/Showdown sagas, but is really its own stand-alone. So, in Skin, a freak tornado storm hits a small Nevada town, decimating it, and leaving a handful of survivors in the wake. Among them are a cult survivor, a cop from that town, a gamer, a lovely young lady, the brother of the lovely young lady, and a serial killer. No one knows who this serial killer is, just that he goes by Sterling Red, and is playing with their heads like a psychotic drunk kitten (as serial killers are wont to do). See, he wants them to kill the ugly persons in the group, and is giving them a limited amount of hours to go through with it, before he just starts offing people himself. Any one of them could be the killer, and that doesn’t bode well for trusting in your fellow man to begin with; especially when a couple in the group already have trust issues to begin with.

Over the course of the story, we’re treated to a decent psychological thriller, with just a touch of that classic Philip K. Dick paranoia to throw you into wondering what is real and what isn’t. Overall, I found the story of Skin to be rather good, a nice engaging thriller with some decent twists to keep things interesting. Some good recreational reading.