REVIEW of Death Grip by Tracy Sherwood

Contemporary Fiction isn't really my genre, so this is the first time I've read something like this. But boy-oh-boy, was this a good first time.
A bit of background about how the book came to be; in an interview Author Tracy Sherwood said that her debut novel, Death Grip, is influenced by the plight of returning military women expected to resume their demanding roles as wives and mothers while struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This book is for the survivors of any tragic event and their loved ones who suffer along with them.
Title: Death Grip
Author: Tracy Sherwood
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: March 30, 2015
Source: ARC Given by Author

War hero Kat Hartley is home from the Middle East, struggling to return to her life as a wife and mother. But Kat is locked in a battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that threatens to destroy her and her family.
Imprisoned by shame after helplessly watching her fellow soldier die in a fiery Humvee explosion, Kat can’t escape his terrified eyes. They haunt her daylight hours and torment her sleep at night. However, Kat is held in the clutches of a darker secret. The doomed soldier was also her lover…and the husband of her now-widowed sister.
Kat will never truly be free until she confronts the guilt over her past. But can she conquer the enemy within that holds her in its death grip? It’s a fight she must win at any cost. Or lose what matters the most.

Kat Hartley, a wife and mother of two, is a strong, intelligent, and an independent woman. She married young to a man she loved but felt inferior to. She felt the need for freedom, enlisting gave her this. Or so she thought.

I loved how this book is an eye-opener.

Death Grip tackles a very serious issue. Most people misunderstand Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. There are people who take it lightly and think the person experiencing it is exaggerating. While there are some who makes matters worse by criticizing these victims.

Another heartbreaking dilemma this book shows us is the treatment some people give veterans. Soldiers risk their lives to protect and serve their country. They leave their families behind knowing the reality of dying during service, in hopes of making their respective countries better – safer. But what do most of them get? They get condemned. They don’t get the respect they deserve most of the time! I’ve always been one to believe that we are all equals. We are not above anyone. That’s why reading how individuals look-down on, disregard, and misjudge these heroes upset me so much.
Last but most definitely not the least, I loved the ending. It’s simple, but right. I’m not going to give any spoilers as to what happened though.

This pretty much sums up my review of Death Grip by the very talented Tracy Sherwood. It’s a pretty short book; it was 98 pages on my Kindle, if I’m not mistaken. This is good for a quick, but “heavy” read.

I’ll be giving this a 4-star rating, mainly because I was touched by the subject matter.

Tracy is a Pushcart Award nominated writer and prize-winning screenwriter. She is published in A Cup of Comfort for Women, The Pointed Circle, Thirteen Stories, Scary Stories, among other magazines and literary anthologies.

Tracy credits her own fighting spirit to late her Marine Corps soldier father who is creator of the classic military comic strip, DAN FLAGG, and love of literature to her English professor mother.

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