The Good & The Bad: Gripped’s Protagonist Taylor Dunkin

Article by Jennifer O’Sullivan, Dover, Massachusetts

Jennifer O’Sullivan

In Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told, by Stacy A. Padula, Taylor Dunkin plays a major role. In the novel, I found the storyline about him and the Boston police department to be the most interesting. To me, Taylor seemed like a really nice, smart, athletic, and caring guy, similar to someone whom I would want to be friends with. Soon, this all changed after a grueling injury led to a painkiller addiction. To support his habit, Taylor began selling drugs at his college as part of a crime ring, and that is when things became serious.

Taylor Dunkin

I love books and TV shows about mysteries and investigations, so I was immediately drawn to this part of the story. When the police targeted Taylor as the “weak link” and sought after his cooperation, I found it so interesting that a star athlete from a small town could have such a serious involvement in something like this. I really enjoyed reading about this, because as a reader I could learn about how Taylor viewed this situation and how he was remorseful, yet I could also see it from the perspective of the police, who were ready to take this ring down. 

At one point in Gripped Part 1, the police mention that it will be extremely hard for Taylor to make it out of this scenario unscathed. The leader, or other members of the ring, will come for him or his family, and this scares me. I am curious to see how the police will handle this so that Taylor can get out safely. I am excited to read about their tactics in handling this situation and to read about Taylor’s reaction to the investigation. Additionally, Taylor’s younger brother Marc Dunkin is a character that I really love, as he cares a lot about Taylor but is frustrated by his brother’s behavior. Due to this fact, I am really excited to see how Marc will be involved in the investigation and I am curious to discover how Taylor and Marc’s relationship will change after this event. 

About Jennifer O’Sullivan

Jennifer O’Sullivan, a rising senior at Dover Sherborn High School, enjoys reading, playing the piano, spending time with friends and doing volunteer work. Jennifer leads her school’s community service club, runs on her school’s cross country and track teams and loves to travel, especially to Ireland where she spends time with friends and family.

More Articles by Jennifer:

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Jennifer O’Sullivan of Dover-Sherborn High School on “When Darkness Tries to Hide” by Stacy Padula

Jennifer O’Sullivan: There’s an Important Message for Teens in “When Darkness Tries to Hide”

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Jennifer O’Sullivan on Jason Davids, Protagonist of The Aftermath

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Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.