Books by Lee Martin

Lee Martin, a finalist for the Pulitzer with The Bright Forever, returns with Break the Skin, a novel that follows four women on the search for love, and the shocking, tragic circumstances that somehow connect them. Click here to read an excerpt from the first chapter. Photo credit: Thao Thai


THE MUTUAL UFO NETWORK by Lee Martin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 12, 2018

"With precise storytelling, Martin chronicles the unrest in his characters' lives and the shocking moments when tensions reach their breaking points."
Quiet traumas and long-festering emotional wounds abound in this collection. Read full book review >
SUCH A LIFE by Lee Martin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2012

"Martin is an expert memoirist willing to explore every remembered utterance for emotional weight, though at times he keeps the reader at too far a distance."
A novelist explores his rural, dysfunctional upbringing for hints of the writer he would become. Read full book review >
BREAK THE SKIN by Lee Martin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 14, 2011

"An intoxicating small-town thriller that quickly gets under your skin."
A crime of passion, thought to be committed by a traumatized Vietnam veteran, links a lovesick Illinois girl with an equally needy young Mexican-American woman in Texas. Read full book review >
RIVER OF HEAVEN by Lee Martin
Released: April 15, 2008

"A lackluster book from a writer who's done much better."
This disappointing follow-up to Pulitzer finalist The Bright Forever (2005) centers on the apparent 1955 suicide of Dewey Finn, a gay teen who lay down on railroad tracks in his Illinois town. Read full book review >
THE BRIGHT FOREVER by Lee Martin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 3, 2005

"Likely to gain attention for its perennially haunting theme, but a little too manipulative to have lasting value."
Few things cause as much distress as the abduction of a little girl; second-novelist Martin (Quakertown, 2001) milks that situation for all it's worth in a multiply narrated story. Read full book review >
QUAKERTOWN by Lee Martin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 25, 2001

"Based on a true story, we're told, but Martin's overheated plot keeps us from believing a word of it."
Inordinately busy first novel by the Texan author of The Least You Need to Know (stories: 1996). Read full book review >
THE LEAST YOU NEED TO KNOW by Lee Martin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1996

"Bleak midwestern landscapes well serve many of these stark and solid narratives."
A fine debut of seven stories, winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction—all, save one, previously published in literary magazines. Read full book review >
GENEALOGY OF MURDER by Lee Martin
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 16, 1996

"Below average for the series."
Hours after finding a freshly embalmed John Doe smuggled in among the other participants in an experiment on cadaveric decomposition, Fort Worth Det. Deb Ralston (Bird in a Cage, 1995, etc.) hears her friend Matilda Greenwood complain that Marvin Tutwiler, the genealogist who hired her to help him write his latest book, has disappeared. Read full book review >
BIRD IN A CAGE by Lee Martin
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Aug. 14, 1995

"The mix is much as before in the 11th of this serieslots of homey touches and more than a bit of Deb's rashness and self- probingbut the easy style and unhackneyed background make it one of Martin's better efforts."
The circus world becomes the focus of Fort Worth's police Detective Deb Ralston (Inherited Murder, 1994, etc.) when she and husband Harry witness the fatal plunge of trapeze artist Julia Sarana Gluck during a night out at a posh new restaurant-nightclub. Read full book review >
INHERITED MURDER by Lee Martin
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Nov. 10, 1994

Even when Fort Worth cop Deb Ralston (The Day That Dusty Died, p. 100, etc.) takes her family on vacation in Salt Lake City, where her son Hal is beginning work at the Missionary Training Center, she can't shake the cloud over her head. Read full book review >
THE DAY THAT DUSTY DIED by Lee Martin
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 17, 1994

"Heartfelt and compelling at times, but small comfort for the reader seeking escape from the world's woes."
Police Detective Deb Ralston, of Fort Worth, Texas, is again faced with myriad personal and professional problems (Hacker, etc.). Read full book review >
HACKER by Lee Martin
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 14, 1992

"A cunningly plotted, cozily written, offbeat spin on the standard procedural—and a welcome addition to an engaging series."
Nobody who knew kindly, semiretired Eric Huffman could believe someone hated him enough to hack him to death, along with his computer, but that's what his wife, Clara, returning from a trip to the beauty parlor, found in their comfortable suburban home. Read full book review >