Reviewed by Tim Suddeth
Whether you want a book to get you ready for
the 2022 Winter Olympics, or just a little suspense to enjoy as the nights get longer, Tear Me Apart may be the book for you. Best-selling author J. T. Ellison takes us from ski course to the ER, to the family closet where the most private family skeletons are hidden. Ellison knows how to ramp up the suspense and not let up.
Mindy is the new darling of US skiing, hoping to make this year’s Olympic ski team. Until a terrible crash lands her in the hospital with a mangled leg. But fears of missing the Olympics become secondary when the doctors discover she has an aggressive form of cancer, and they need to do a bone marrow transplant immediately.
With her loving parents and aunt at her side, there is little doubt that they will find a suitable match soon. However, the parents’ tests show that they aren’t her parents.
Just what secrets are her parents hiding. And can her aunt discover the facts before it’s too late for Mindy?
Ellison keeps you on the edge of your seat with sudden twists and characters with hidden agendas. She also gives us an up-close look at the lives of elite athletes and how their desire for success consumes them.
Another character I liked was Mindy’s aunt, Dr. Juliet Ryder, a Colorado Bureau of Investigation DNA technician and lab manager. Juliet’s work includes creating a procedure to improve matching blood samples to a database. The tug-of-war between work and her family puts her in a dangerous spot.
Another plotline woven throughout the book is the story of two young ladies forced to fight their own demons.
In the Acknowledgements in the back of the book, Ellison introduces us to Project Semicolon. According to its website, Project Semicolon is the nation’s most effective grassroots mental health organization. They are dedicated to building better lives for those faced with mental illness.
She also includes the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255. Although psychological thrillers make great reads and entertainment, we must not forget the lives broken for those who actually go through the effects of mental illness. One lesson from this book is that it is okay to call out for help if you feel you need it, and that there are people standing by, able and willing to help.
Mental illness isn’t something you should face alone. Thank you J.T. for a great story with such an important message.