Written by Mackenzie Wells, Athens, Georgia
Brothers Taylor, Jordan, and Marc Dunkin seem to have it all. They are each incredible athletes and prolific football stars. Both Jordan and Taylor are playing college football, and Marc, a senior in high school, is about to sign with Boston College. However, there is a dark side to their golden boy success stories.
After a career-halting injury, Taylor has become addicted to painkillers, and he has started dealing drugs to his brother’s friends at Montgomery Lake High. A rift is torn between the brothers as Marc discovers Taylor’s role in the epidemic which is ruining many of his friends’ lives.
Jumping back and forth between the events of 2017 and flashbacks to 2016, Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told by Stacy Padula keeps readers enthralled by unfolding stories, relationships, and mysteries in connection with the Dunkin boys and anyone connected to them.
In high school, Taylor Dunkin broke more records than any other athlete to step foot in Montgomery, Massachusetts. As a sophomore in college, he was ranked by ESPN as one of the NFL’s top 100 prospects. However, his aspirations came to a jarring halt when a knee injury and two surgeries left him sidelined.
One year later, Taylor is a person of interest in a highly confidential investigation headed by the Boston Police Department. He has entangled himself in a crime ring notorious for pushing opiates, cocaine, and benzodiazepines on local college campuses.
When Taylor’s younger brother Marc discovers that Taylor is behind the copious drug supply circulating around Montgomery Lake High School, he sets off to not only reverse the damage Taylor has caused, but also save his lifelong role model from becoming a casualty of America’s deadly opioid epidemic.
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