We first encounter young Londoner, Kip, who meets his great-grandfather Cosimo, (gotta love that name!), who instructs him in the way of traveling across "ley lines," which enable a person to not only leap spontaneously from one place to another but also lets one to travel through time, (and you thought Stone Henge had something to do with ancient paganism, heh..!) So, early on the characters are split not only across geographical boundaries but chronologically as well. A very important ancient map is sought which was originally tattooed on the back of a man; a "skin map," hence the title. That map is full of interestingly important symbols which help plot a course across the Aeons.
Lawhead has written a twisty-turney plot, sprinkled with laugh-out-loud dialogue. The Skin Map had me engrossed from beginning to end with it's story of the first kaffeehaus known to mankind . Warning; this first of a trilogy ends in somewhat of a cliffhanger. I only regret I didn't wait until the entire thing was written before starting it. Now, I've got to wait until September of 2011 before The Bone House is released! Big-time of a bummer but I am delighted nonetheless to be able to get to read a really good book and now, I have something to look forward too next year!