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Tom Leveen ‘Shackled’ Review


Written by: Myra Gabor

Pelly is broken. She knows she is. She just doesn’t know how to fix it.

Six years ago, when she was just 10, her best friend, Tara, disappeared from a mall. They had been playing hide and seek until her friend never came out of hiding.  They were just two 10-year-old girls who played a game with Tara’s mother’s permission. Doesn’t take us long to figure out that Pelly blames herself for what happened.

She doesn’t go to school, wants to never leave her room – her safe place. With the help of her therapist, she is able to leave the house and get a job as a barista. Not big money, but at least she can think of something besides her worthlessness. However, Pelly stops going to her therapist and taking her pills. She overheard her parents say that the insurance won’t cover her therapy sessions anymore. She adds guilt to the mix of negative emotions as she knows that each parent works way too many hours to cover the bills. Pelly copes by smoking, snapping a rubber band on her wrist and cutting herself.

Her only sort-of-friend is David, another barista whose shifts sometimes overlap hers. Pelly wants to be normal, to go to school and to have friends, but she is so caught up in her own misery that she fails to see the signs of friendship that David shows her.

One day, while serving at the counter, an older man comes in with a teenage girl. Even through her lethargy, Pelly is sure that the girl is Tara. Pelly contacts the police.  The original detective in charge of the case is still at work and she isn’t sure if this is a good or a bad thing. The detective doesn’t seem very excited. Pelly feels that he will check out her story as a matter of routine and not because he’s hopeful.

She decides to take action – she’ll do her own investigating. She reaches out to David for help. This is her first major step out of the pit she has dug for herself.

The author does a fine job in getting into the mind of an angst ridden teenage girl. This is not a story of slashing monsters. It is a story about the unthinkable happening and its devastating effects on everyone it touches.

Everything is told from Pelly’s viewpoint. What she’s going through, how she suffers and how she reacts to the others in her life is really interesting, but hold on, the action is coming and when it does, it is as exciting as anything I’ve ever read.

Tom Leveen has an absorbing way of writing that makes us want to keep reading the story to find out what happens next.  Highly recommended.

Order it here.

Rating:  5/5

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About The Overseer (1668 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

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