Featured Review: ‘Tear Me Apart’ by J.T. Ellison

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Tear me apartWhile family members of a talented skier worry about her career following a horrific accident, things quickly take a dark turn when the girl’s life is upended after a series of shocking revelations comes to light during her recovery.  

Mindy Wright has it all. At just seventeen years old, the brilliant champion skier has supportive parents who’ve always stood by her and encouraged her to reach for her dreams of winning a gold medal. Now, those dreams are finally close to becoming a reality, with Mindy a near-lock to qualify for the United States Olympic team.

Instead, her life becomes an absolute nightmare. 

The downfall began, quite literally, with a fall. During a race in Colorado, Mindy wipes out hard. The superstar is then transported to a local hospital where she’s informed that her leg is badly broken. At first, Mindy’s thoughts turn towards the slopes, calculating how long she could be out, and what that might do to her Olympic dreams. Agreeing to undergo a needed surgery, her hope is to heal quickly enough to start training sooner than later. Then comes the first blow. 

Sadly, doctors inform Mindy and her parents, Jasper and Lauren Wright, that the surgery did not go as planned. The break led to another finding, shocking everyone. Mindy, it turns out, has a rare, severe form of leukemia, and her only chance at beating it will require immediate treatment, including a stem cell transplant. Oddly, initial tests confirm that neither Jasper nor Lauren are matches for the transplant, which makes a whole lot more sense after a DNA test reveals that the couple isn’t actually Mindy’s biological parents. 

First the injury, then the cancer diagnosis. At a time when Mindy needs her mom and dad the most, she finds out they aren’t her real parents. With that twist comes more questions, as she wonders how such a situation is even possible. Could it all have been an accident? Did the hospital mistakenly switch her with another baby seventeen years ago? Meanwhile, Lauren (who reminds me a little bit of Robin White’s Clair Underwood in House of Cards) refuses to sit and wait for others to help Mindy, and nothing is off-limits for a mother hellbent on saving her child’s life. As the story unfolds, long-kept secrets begin to spill out, threatening to tear not one, but two families apart. 

Thankfully for Mindy, she does have her big sister–who happens to be a DNA technician for a state law enforcement department–to help her make sense of things and maybe even locate her biological family. But as the hits keep coming, Ellison saves one final twist for late in the game. Just when you think you have this one figured out, she’ll yank the rug right out from underneath your feet. . . 

Always a lock to deliver a high-octane thriller, Ellison’s latest novel shows just why she’s one of the premier suspense writers working today. Few authors can spin as many twists as she does, but her attention to character development and strong prose really sets her apart from the competition. Likewise, her pacing and tone are spot-on, making this book, like her others, impossible to put down. 

J.T. Ellison has outdone herself with this one. Tear Me Apart is one of the darkest, most suspenseful, and deceiving psychological thrillers since Harlan Coben’s Fool Me Once

Book Details

Author: J.T. Ellison
Pages: 496 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 077830826X
Publisher: MIRA 
Release Date: August 28, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10

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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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