than Skin deep
AUTHOR TED DEKKER is known for crafting edge-of-your-seat
thrillers—including Thr3e, House and Showdown. Dekker succeeds
again with his new novel, Skin, which asks the question: Are we all
born ugly to the core, with no power to make ourselves beautiful?
Set in Summerville, Nevada, the novel begins as a tornado is set
to sweep through the sleepy town. In the aftermath of the storm, five
strangers are affected by the devastation and hunted by an evil man
known only as Sterling Red. Red challenges the group to kill the ugli-est among them—giving them six hours to do so. If not, Red promises
to unleash his terror on other Summerville residents.
Skin is available at most Costco warehouses.
It took him less than a minute to reach
the back alley and work his way behind the
Sears store. The rear door had been kicked
open from the inside.
No sign of the killer.
A gust of wind pushed the door open.
The alley was dark, and Colt could just
read the words painted on the gray door in
It’s payback time
Colt felt a chill crash down his back.
Payback time? Who? For what? His days as a
cop in Vegas flashed through his mind. Just
over a year ago, the night he’d faced off with
a man in the alley behind the whorehouse
where his mother lived. He’d been coming
to check on her after hearing that one of the
girls had been beaten by a customer.
He might not have even seen the
hooded man leaning against the corner if
the sound of a scraping wood crate hadn’t
He’d drawn his weapon and crouched;
saw the form, arms crossed. At first, neither spoke. The man faced him from the
darkness behind his hood, slinking without the slightest concern. Colt stood
slowly, unnerved without knowing why.
“Can I help you?” he asked, glancing at
the back door on his left.
“Can you?” The man’s voice sounded a
bit like that crate he’d shoved.
“What are you doing here?”
“She’s as ugly as you are, Colt,” the
stranger said. This man knew him?
“Maybe you should do something
about that,” the man said.
“Who are you?”
“You forget already?”
Colt’s mind raced for recollection, but
none came. “Step out with your hands
The Costco Connection APRIL 2007
where I can see
The man leaned
against the brick wall
“I’m going to kill her
for you, Colt. And then
I’m going to come back for
the rest of you. It’s payback
Then he was gone.
Colt headed for the street in a fast
walk, turned the radio back on, and spoke
in a soft but clear voice. “Becky, you there?”
Her voice came back, frazzled and
quick. “Walton’s sending some backup, but
there’s a storm between us, Colt. They
don’t know when they can get here.”
“Okay.” He steadied his own breathing. “I need you to stay focused. Can you do
“Okay. It gets worse. I need you to call
Horrence Tate, Mary Wiseman, Old Man
Gerald—anyone you can think of who’s
been around for a while. Tell them to call
everyone they know in town to lock their
doors and stay inside. Don’t answer the
door for anyone. Tell them to spread the
word. You got that?”
“Yes. Tell them it’s the storm, you
“No. Tell it straight. We have a killer on
the loose, and I don’t think he’s done. Tell
them not to panic, but we need them to
stay locked down.”
But she wasn’t okay, Colt thought.
None of them were okay.
And he in particular was nowhere
near okay. C
COSTCO HAS FIVE signed copies of
Ted Dekker’s Skin to give away. To
enter, print your name, membership
number, address and daytime phone
number on a postcard or letter and
send it to: Ted Dekker, The Costco
Connection, P. O. Box 34088, Seattle, WA
98124-1088, or fax it to (425) 313-6718.
No purchase is necessary. Only current Costco members are eligible to win.
One entry per household. Entries must
be received or postmarked by May 1,
2007. Winners will be randomly selected
and notified by mail on or before June 1,
2007. The value of the prize is $24.99.
Void where prohibited. Winners are
responsible for all applicable federal,
state and local taxes. The decision of the
judges is final. Employees of Costco or
Thomas Nelson Publishing and their
families are not eligible.
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