Nineteen-year-old Liz Buckley is a decent girl, simple, loyal, and strong. Her search for a childhood friend brings her from the shabby and correct world of her home to the skid row which is Skinner Street. Here she finds Ron, the younger boy whom she seeks, and here she finds Scotty, a bitter young man in his twenties, tough, hurt, and loving. Regardless of social distinctions, the two become sweethearts until Liz finds that Scotty and Ron are members of a heroin pushing ring. She implores Scotty to ""get out"" of the syndicate, but he is trapped. The two endure a tortuous separation until Ron recklessly murders the leader, dies himself, and leaves Scotty and Liz free to build a life based on their love for him and each other. A story which has been told in many forms and in many mediums, The Skinner takes on dimension at the hands of this singularly persuasive young writer, who in her first novel manifests a unique ability to create characters of unique poignancy and situations which despite their violence, evoke a tender and sympathetic reader response. A book which should get distribution particularly among readers in their late teens and early twenties. One hopes to see more from Jay Gilbert.