Saturday, August 7, 2010

Live to Tell: Suspenseful and Disturbing


A day off work and a nice big package arrives in the mail containing Lisa Gardner’s Live to Tell. Backyard, sun and lawn chair..get ready cuz here I come.

Lisa Gardner is an auto-buy author or me even if her latest books do get released in hardcover (hello Book Depository..thanks for letting me buy this one for $10 bucks and change...Win!). The back cover jacket states Lisa Gardner will mess with your head so get ready...Live to Tell is pretty intense. This is no fluff read and even though the subject matter was a times hard to read…I couldn’t put it down.

Although Detective DD Warren has appeared in previous novels, this story is not about her per se. It’s about 3 women and how their lives intersect as DD and her squad race to uncover the connection between 2 entire families who have been murdered in their own homes, these 2 women and their own horrifying stories.

DD Warren is tough, has a mouth like a truck driver, can eat anyone under the table with the metabolism to match and she has no time for a personal live - even though she would like to have one. She’s a career cop and married to her job. Out on a date for the first time in a long time, she’s hoping it ends in the horizontal mambo when her pager goes off - or what she likes to refer to it as…birth control. The only action DD’s going to see this night is of the murderous variety.

Danielle a pediatric psych nurse and Victoria a loving mother are the other main characters. What was interesting and different in their story-telling was Gardner chose to tell their story in 1st person. Although I am not a fan of 1st person narration, I will admit for their story - it worked particularly for Victoria.

Victoria‘s story was one of a mother's unconditional love and extreme gut wrenching emotion. You can not help but feel for her and all the sacrifices she has made in the name of love for her family. I felt like I was right there with her, experiencing her overwhelming despair, living every day in fear and terror from her oh so psychotic eight year old son and yet her devotion to him is unwavering. How did she find the strength every day to get out of bed and survive and live under those conditions?

Danielle’s story was one of a survivor and guilt. She is the lone remaining member of her immediate family after her own family was murdered in the worst way imaginable when she was just a child. Now Danielle works with children at the Pediatric Evaluation Clinic of Boston. These children and their sad disturbing stories will tug at your heartstrings, send chills through you and keep you riveted to every page until the end.

So what's the connection? How are Danielle and Victoria a part of a murderous rampage being investigated by DD Warren and what part do the sad children in the mental ward on the top floor of the Boston hospital have to do with anything?

Make sure you reserve a block of time before starting Live to Tell, because you won't be able to put it down until you reach the end.

Read an Excerpt

From The Author's Website

He knows everything about you—including the first place you’ll hide.

On a warm summer night in one of Boston’s working-class neighborhoods, an unthinkable crime has been committed: Four members of a family have been brutally murdered. The father—and possible suspect—now lies clinging to life in the ICU. Murder-suicide? Or something worse? Veteran police detective D. D. Warren is certain of only one thing: There’s more to this case than meets the eye.

Danielle Burton is a survivor, a dedicated nurse whose passion is to help children at a locked-down pediatric psych ward. But she remains haunted by a family tragedy that shattered her life nearly twenty-five years ago. The dark anniversary is approaching, and when D. D. Warren and her partner show up at the facility, Danielle immediately realizes: It has started again.

A devoted mother, Victoria Oliver has a hard time remembering what normalcy is like. But she will do anything to ensure that her troubled son has some semblance of a childhood. She will love him no matter what. Nurture him. Keep him safe. Protect him. Even when the threat comes from within her own house.

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