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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My review of Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner

In Lisa Gardner’s newest entry into her D. D. Warren series, Live to Tell, D.D. is investigating a brutal and heartbreaking crime. An apparent murder-suicide has occurred in one of Boston’s neighborhoods, and the father, who is a suspect, is barely alive in the ICU. Mostly written off as a murder-suicide, Detective Warren believes that there is more to this case. Investigating this tragedy will bring D.D. to a pediatric psych ward, where she meets Danielle Burton. Danielle is a nurse who specializes in the care of severely disturbed children and is the survivor of a family murder much like the one D.D. is looking into. The anniversary of her family’s violent deaths is fast approaching, and when D.D. and her partner arrive at the hospital, Danielle fears the past is being repeated.

One of my personal hallmarks of a successful book is if, after I finish it, it sends me off to google. After completing Live to Tell, I was googling like a mad woman. I found the basis of the book, severe childhood mental illness both frightening and fascinating. We’ve all heard the phrase, “he/she was just born bad”, but I’ve never really thought before what it would mean to have a child with an illness like this. And after reading this novel, I have a new found respect for the pain a mother must go through when her child looks at her and says in a sweet clear voice, “I’m going to kill you with a knife while you sleep.” Imagine, having to lock up your knives, after counting them to make sure your sweet faced little 7 year old hasn’t taken one. It’s just incomprehensible to me.

I’ve read the first two books in this series, but somehow missed the third one. I enjoy Gardner’s writing and I’ll make an effort to read The Neighbor, the one I missed. I didn’t have any trouble with what was going on, I think this book could stand very well on its own. Every book in the series, builds the characters a bit more, showing us the complex people they are, but never in a “smack us over the head” with it. And like getting to know someone in “real life”, the characters are added to in such a way, that if we miss a book, we can pretty much figure it out as we go along.

Gardner, as usual, never disappoints. Never pedantic or boring, Lisa Gardner knows how to write a good thriller. If you’re a fan of the the genre, Live to Tell is a don’t miss entry!

(Review copy provided by LibraryThing and the Early Reviewer program.)

My rating:

3 comments:

bermudaonion said...

That sounds like what they used to call the "bad seed." It's a scary thought, that's for sure. The book sounds so good!

DeSeRt RoSe said...

Sounds like an interesting book!!

I hope you would accept this award from me :)

http://desertrosebooklogue.blogspot.com/2010/08/sunshine-award.html

Jolene said...

I have read "the neighbor" and "live to tell", and I love them both. GREAT BOOKS. Your review was correct. I went to Google as well and here I am! I can't wait to read the rest of the series. The writer is incredibly intelligent to include all the details that are in the book. As a nurse myself, I was impressed. I'm sure a detective would be as well. She really writes an incredible story every time!