Tunnel Vision

by Susan Shaw

ISBN-10: 1442408405

On her way home one evening, Liza has to force her way through a group of men in a train underpass. She doesn’t think anything of it, but when her mom is shot dead moments later, Liza’s world turns upside down. Even worse, Liza was really the target. Only hours after her mother’s death, Liza is nearly killed again and she and her dad are placed in the witness protection program. Leaving everything she’s ever known behind, Liza and her dad pick up and move, never staying in one place for long. It’s too big of a risk--and Liza’s worst fear is realized when she gets recognized. The would-be killer is still on their trail, so all Liza and her dad can do is keep running. Unsure whom to trust and where to go, they’re just trying to stay alive.


Each day we witness chance encounters with various members of society. Tunnel Vision is the story of Liza, who has a chance encounter with a high-profile philanthropist as he commits two murders. As a result, she and her father are whisked into a witness protection program. Other chance encounters make up this fast paced story of life on the run from a killer. Shaw has written a story that illustrates the difficulty in keeping up with assumed identities, and a loss of personal privacy. The danger Liza faces is not graphically sensationalized as she gives a first person account of leaving their life behind.
Danger dominates the life of a 16-year-old girl who sees her mother murdered and tries to escape the same fate. Liza merely walks through a tunnel at the wrong time. The killers she passes mark her for death, but they miss and shoot her mother instead. After a second attempt on Liza’s life, the FBI moves Liza and her dad into the witness-protection program. All might be well, except that the FBI appears to have no control over journalists, who make Liza’s disappearance into a national tabloid story. All might still be well, except that Liza refuses to dye her flaming red hair and keeps losing hats. Shaw tells her story through the eyes of a young girl who undergoes serious trauma and tries to cling to her past even as she fears the killers. Liza wants to settle into a normal life with her dad even if they can’t return home, but she finds it difficult to trust anyone she meets. Could wild coincidences really be coincidental? The author creates a completely believable character in Liza, who often reverts to childlike emotions only to learn the hard way that cold reality takes precedence over even dearly held wishes. Kudos for the unexpected double ending, both illusory and realistic, giving readers a choice. An emotional roller-coaster ride through adolescent angst and thriller suspense.
Shaw (One of the Survivors) offers a tense story of life on the run, which opens with an act of violence, when 16-year-old Liza’s mother is shot and killed in front of her. After an attempt is made on Liza’s life, it becomes evident that she was the target of both attacks. Liza and her father enter a witness protection program, trying to escape from the gang that’s hot on their trail for reasons they don’t understand. Readers are kept in the dark, too—Shaw offers little in the way of hints that might explain why Liza is being targeted. As father and daughter surrender their identities and race around the country, abandoning work, school, and family, Shaw provides a window into the stress they are under (on numerous occasions Liza mistakes passersby for the man who’s after her), and how their shock over their tumultuous new circumstances affects their ability to grieve their loss. The open ending is realistically uncertain, a lack of closure that further cements readers’ connection to Liza’s feelings of futility, helplessness, and confusion.