The Skin Trade
World Fantasy Award for Best Novella 1989.
A novella. Cover art by Rick Berry. Originally published in the anthology Night Visions 5 (1988).
Randi Wade's world is spiraling into a dark labyrinth of secrets and lies. Her only friend is keeping something from her. Innocent victims are being savagely attacked and left for dead, all but their skins. There is an eerie connection between the crime scenes and her own father's murder nearly twenty years before, unsolved to this day. Despite this, Chief of Police Joe Urquhart, her father's former partner and best friend, beckons her to drop the case, drop everything. Is he protecting her, or something else?
As the case unfolds, Randi is pulled ever closer to realizing her darkest fear: that werewolves do exist, and they'll do anything necessary to keep their secrets safe in this once quiet town... Even if it means killing their own. All the while, an eccentric but powerful family watches closely from inside the black iron gates of Blackstone Manor, as the horrendous truth behind it all begins to bubble toward the top.
George Raymond Richard Martin (born 1948 in Bayonne, New Jersey), is an American author and screenwriter of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. He majored from Norhwestern University in 1970.
Martin sold his first science fiction story in 1971 and has been writing professionally since then. He spent ten years in Hollywood as a writer-producer, working on various television series and feature films. In the mid ‘90s he returned to prose, his first love, and began work on his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. He has been in the Seven Kingdoms ever since. Whenever he’s allowed to leave, he returns to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives with lovely Parris, and two cats named Augustus and Caligula, who think they run the place.