Review of “To Penetrate” by T.L. Chester

To PenetrateTo Penetrate by Tl Chester
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This dark, gripping and occasionally gruesome tale was impossible to put down. It grabs you from the first page, taking you on a wild ride through the miasma of emotions roiling within a woman known as Sam who has killed her lover–exactly as he requested. Obediently following his last directive, she embarks on a mysterious quest in the form of a haunting roadtrip during which she discovers more about his sordid past with each mysterious stop. While trying to deny and suppress her guilt and inner turmoil she gradually confronts her demons and the various insecurities behind them.

This novella-length story is intense, believable and presented in a highly original style which takes you inside Sam’s psyche as if reading her diary as she pursues this dark journey of self-discovery. While the premise is tragic, it is nonetheless softened by an ample dose of humor throughout, even as it shields the protagonist from the maelstrom she’s experiencing inside.

I’m usually picky about such things as grammar and spelling but in this case any “mistakes” were effective as a deliberate ploy to capture the essence of this antiheroine as she spills forth her story in an utterly believable first person narrative. While it’s unusual to start a story with a murder where you know who the perpetrator was, the suspense throughout is nearly tangible, right up to the last heart-stopping page. This story’s depth is not to be trifled with, its impact troubling as you realize how, when all is said and done, that Sam could be the true victim of this clever albeit unsettling tale were it not for her transformation along the way.

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