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Monday, February 15, 2016
Shackled by Tom Leveen
Pelly and Tara were best friends until Tara disappeared. What was just another ordinary day turned into a nightmare, in which Pelly went home and Tara never did. This left a deep emotional scar on Pelly, where she was afraid to leave the house, suffered from severe panic attacks and went through rigorous therapy. Now, as a teen, Pelly is taking it one step at a time, making her entrance into a world she tried so hard to avoid. To try to maintain a "normal" life, she gets a job at a local coffee shop where she and David work the counters. However hard David tries to engage Pelly, she won't respond. It's not part of her safe world she's willing to let go of right now.
And then THEY comes into the coffee shop. He looks like he has his daughter with him, treating her to a coffee, but Pelly is shocked, not only with what she sees, but what she hears. Tara had a small mole on her neck, and this girl has the same mark. Pelly isn't sure if her eyes and mind are playing tricks on her until she hears to the girl whisper, "help me" as she leaves, in tow behind the non-descript man who ushers her into his car and speed away. Pelly KNOWS it's her friend Tara and all of the hard work she's done to get back out in the world disappears as swiftly as the car her friend got into.
Although David didn't see what she did, he is willing to help her because he believes her. This is something Pelly isn't used to because no one, not even the police, believes her story. All she has is the description of the car and the license plate number, but that's all she and David need to track down the man and find out if he is the abductor who took Tara years ago.
And when they finally arrive at their destination, they are confronted with a brutal truth....something much bigger and more unexpected than they could have imagined...
Leveen writes a dark novel about an equally dark part of society - those that prey on the young and weak without anyone believing they are psychopaths in disguise.
Ripped from today's headlines, this story mirrors the horrific incident surrounding Ariel Castro and his home in Cleveland and Leveen does an excellent job in creating a fictional novel with equally realistic characters and plot development that allow the reader to question whether Pelly hasn't quite healed emotionally orshe really did see what she thought she did. The author creates two main characters who are very much opposite but together, their opposites make sense. The reader will begin to slowly peel the layers apart until the ending where they find the heart of the matter may not be what they expected. Recommended for upper JH/HS