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2 new thrillers are ‘stellar’ and ‘gut-wrenching’

Tear Me Apart” (Mira), by J.T. Ellison

Book Reviews

“Tear Me Apart,” J.T. Ellison’s latest gut-wrenching thriller, asks the question: How far would a parent go to save the life of a child?

Mindy Wright has a shot at being a top skier. During a critical race, she hits a spot near a flag incorrectly and ends up face down in the snow with a broken leg. Doctors insert a pin in the leg but discover something far worse when performing the surgery: she has leukemia and needs a stem cell transplant.

Her parents take the test, but data shows they have no genetic markers that match with her. The revelation that they have been hiding the truth hurts Mindy almost as much as her fractured leg. And to stay alive, she needs to find her birth parents to determine if they can provide the stem cells she needs. Of course, it isn’t as simple as tracking down the people who organized the adoption or looking up names on the Internet.

Lauren, who considers herself Mindy’s mother, had her reasons for keeping the truth from Mindy. Exposing the facts behind the deception might save her daughter’s life, but at what cost?

The author crafts a compelling mystery that slowly unravels like a spool of frazzled yarn, leaving both the characters and readers emotionally spent. A quarter of the way into the story, a new character is introduced that throws everything into turmoil in a significant way.

Dark secrets and how they can destroy a loving family carry this tale to a startling ending.

Trust Me” ( Forge Books), by Hank Phillippi Ryan

A former journalist has a chance at redemption and recovery of her shattered life when she receives an offer to write about a heinous trial in Hank Phillippi Ryan’s stellar thriller, “Trust Me.”

Mercer Hennessey was a well-respected news writer but she gave it up to be with her family. She was a loving wife and devoted mother, but an accident changed everything and now she’s a widow. She knows she needs to pick herself up but doesn’t dare take that first step back to the real world.

When her former boss offers her the chance to write a tell-all book about a significant trial, Mercer can’t refuse. A television feed from the courtroom to her living room will allow her to stay private while also rediscovering the joy of writing.

The issue Mercer has to grapple with is the case itself. Ashlyn Bryant is accused of murdering her young daughter. Her alibi shifts constantly, and she seems to have excuses for every piece of evidence provided by prosecutors. Mercer quickly sees the case as a chance to move past the death of her husband and daughter, and she will do this by seeing justice done in the trial against Bryant. As Mercer digs deeper and begins to chronicle the proceedings, she begins to find holes that might change what she thought was an inevitable outcome. And just when it starts to lean toward being predictable, Ryan throws in a huge twist.

“Trust Me” when I say that her latest is her best novel to date.

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