June 18, 2020

If You Tell Review

Title: If You Tell
Author: Gregg Olsen
Type: True Crime, Non-Fiction
Pages: 428
Rating: 4/5

**Trigger Warning
This story contains emotional, physical, verbal abuse as well as murder.

This was a pretty fast read for me. I can’t remember the last non-fiction book I read and I found this one to be hard to put down. The chapters were super short which is always a plus for me. The delivery of the story was pretty good, considering the content. The story is a collection of memories involving Shelly and her daughters Nikki, Sami and Tori. Shelly is sadistic and abusive. She pretty much abuses anyone she comes into contact with. She is a master manipulator and gas-lighter. Often times, Nikki, Sami and Tori struggled with what they were experiencing and seeing and what to do about it. If you can not stomach emotional, physical and verbal abuse then this probably isn’t the story for you. She got away with a lot and it’s sickening. At times, I wondered how something like this could happen and go on for as long as it did.

While the story is sad, it’s also about survival and sisterhood bonds. It is a heartbreaking read that shows how easy an abuser can manipulate, gaslight and abuse its victims. Shelly’s children were not the only victims of abuse. A few adults suffered abuse at the hands of Shelly too. I think that showcases how real Stockholm Syndrome is. I had never heard about this story and I found myself wanting to look more into the case when I finished the book.