Book Review Tuesday: Tear Me Apart by J. T. Ellison, Vanished by @mbiermanauthor

Warm and cozy window seat with cushions and a opened book, light through vintage shutters, rustic style home decor. Small cat on window seat, along with coffee cup by pillow, Words Book Review Tuesday superimposed over image
Happy Book Review Tuesday!  Thanks for dropping by to check out what I’ve been reading. As always, I love sharing books, and I have two to chat about today. Check ’em out below…

Book cover for Tear Me Apart by J. T. Ellison shows lighted window in dark house at nightTear Me Apart
by J. T. Ellison
I had expectations going into this book. After reading the blurb, I thought I had a good notion regarding how the bulk of the plot would play out. Um…yeah, that only went so far.
Mindy Wright is a teenage champion downhill skier with a shot at the U.S. Olympic team. She’s got the perfect home life, perfect mom and dad, the world is her oyster. Then a bad crash lands her in the hospital with a broken leg, and in the process, doctors discover she has leukemia and is in need of a stem cell transplant. When her parents are tested for a match, it’s discovered, she’s not their daughter.
You can see where this is headed, right?—wrong. I went into this book with a lot of expectations. But I didn’t plan on Mindy’s aunt working for a government agency, or two characters in the past sharing time and space in a mental hospital. And what about several far too coincidental murders, all of these things spiraling back to Mindy, her perfect parents and her perfect life?
I loved the author’s use of letters to address the past. The story is doled out in bits and pieces, past and present, slowly joining together for an explosive conclusion. The characters are wholly human and horribly flawed, several with agendas that develop as the book progresses. Favorites for me were Juliet, Vivian and Zac, along with Zac’s faithful dog, Kat.
Given the plot, this was a hard book to deliver a satisfying ending, but Elison exceeded expectations. A grand slam home run! If you like stories with complex characters and dark buried secrets with several twists along the way, don’t miss this engrossing book that takes a stark look at human nature. 5 Stars
Genre: Medical Thrillers > Kidnapping Crime Fiction

Book cover for Vanished by Mark Bierman shows a white hand print on a red backgroundVanished
by Mark Bierman

Although this is a work of fiction, it’s tragic to know the book is grounded in reality.  Tyler and John take a mission trip to Haiti. Tyler is grieving the loss of his wife to cancer—who was John’s daughter. Son-in-law and father-in-law have a strong relationship, readily apparent from the start. No sooner do we meet them, however, than a child goes missing, abducted by slave traders. Many of the locals are ready to write the little girl off as lost, as child abductions are commonplace. Tyler takes a different stance, and John is soon in all the way.

What follows is a riveting search to save a life, and a grim look at the ugliness of human trafficking. There were parts of the book that made me squirm, others that brought inspiration and hope. Bierman makes atrocities clear without being graphic, yet the scenes are raw and powerful, the delivery intense. All of the characters are well developed, including secondary roles. The reader becomes enmeshed in the lives of many, the threads that tie various plot points together, expertly handled. Well written and polished, the story moves at a breathless clip and delivers a satisfying ending. Undertaking such a difficult subject is not an easy feat, but Bierman delivered social commentary and an engrossing story in a seamless package.

Amazon Link
Genre: Literature and Fiction


Until next week, I wish you happy reading, and would love to hear your thoughts about the novels above. Let’s chat! 🙂

60 thoughts on “Book Review Tuesday: Tear Me Apart by J. T. Ellison, Vanished by @mbiermanauthor

    • I understand your reservations about Vanished. I was initially worried how I’d fare, but thankfully, the scenes weren’t graphic. It was just the idea of what was happening and taking place that made such an impact.

      Tear Me Apart is an easy read. It moves really fast and the mysteries keep building. It’s great if you enjoy psychological suspense novels. I’m addicted to those things, LOL.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I haven’t read any of Ellison’s books, but saw her at a local book fest a few years ago – wonderful sense of humor. As you said, it’s tragic to know Mark’s book is grounded in reality. Kudos to him for undertaking such difficult topics and doing such a marvelous job. Awesome reviews, Mae!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Mae, two superb reviews and both of these are going on my TBR list! Isn’t it wonderful when a book can surprise as you found with Ellison’s and Mark’s ‘Vanished’ has me hooked, although I can sense the harrowing story behind it. It’s been great to ‘chat’ about books – I never tire of this! Happy Reading & Reviewing! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A couple of interesting ones there – I don’t know if I could do the slave trafficking one though. That stuff really cuts… probably because it’s true. I can read all day about violent fantasy assassins and necromancy and dark arts, but the REAL stuff…. shudder.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Review: Tear Me Apart #TuesdayBookShare – Joan Hall

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