Tangled Ties to a Manatee by Kalen Cap



            Northeast Ohio has been home for most of my life. Imagine my surprise when the story of a manatee is set a short two and a half miles south of me at the Grove City Zoo! It never occurred to me all the years that I traveled to Columbus that a crime thriller about a manatee would take me back to some very familiar places.

Ankh likes swimming in the large tank with the other manatees, but she develops a strange itching sensation. When she begins to rub her expanding body against the tank it worries the doctors and zoo officials. They are concerned about the pup she is carrying, and move Ankh to a smaller isolation tank.

College students, who have internships at the zoo and others who volunteer at a local environmental retreat center supply interest for the college age crowd. Then there is   their professor who assigns extra credit to students who join in to canvass for the retreat center. However, the center is under investigation as a cult and several agents are undercover to determine the truth.

Challenging personal relationships tangle things even more. Kalen Cap does a wonderful job of developing interesting and believable characters. He develops each ones strength and weaknesses and ties their destinies to Ankh in a surprising twist that you will just have to read.

I felt that Jerry who is developmentally challenged is the true hero of this complex tale. He stumbles onto a couple of bumbling conmen. Meet his friends in the halfway house, and the people at the café where he works. Will they be able to save Ankh and her unborn pup when the power goes down?

Tangled Ties to a Manatee is a well-written novel that will keep readers engaged right through the epilog.

Reviewed by Jackie Anton

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