Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review: Love You More

Making the Grade: A

For My Thoughts

It takes all of two pages before Love You More by Lisa Gardner grabs you by the throat, squeezes and has you gasping - WTF is going on.

A young, pretty, female state trooper, her dead husband seemingly killed by her own hand and her missing six-year-old daughter. If you aren’t intrigued by this story, how it’s going to unfold and what long time friends State Police Detective Bobby Dodge and Sergeant Detective D.D. Warren have to do with the case...then you are stronger than me. I couldn’t wait to see where this complicated case was headed. Love You More is a barn-burning, page-turning, I dare you to try and put me down kinda book.

Although D.D. and Bobby appear in several other of Gardner’s books (this is their fifth book together), I think it’s fair to say this outstanding book can definitely be read as a stand alone. It was great to see D.D. and Bobby Dodge back in the saddle again working a case. D.D. is a great female character. She’s a ball-bustin’ Boston Cop, smart, a little rough around the edges, but there is no mistaking that she knows how to work a case and get results. Bobby definitely takes a supporting role - this is all the D.D. Warren show. We are also offered just a little glimpse of D.D‘s private life as she deals with a huge personal issue at the same time as she’s under the gun to solve this case.

Love You More is told from two different points of view. Gardner keeps feeding us little scraps of information as told from State Trooper Tessa Leoni’s first person point of view. I kept wondering if Tessa Leoni was really fooling everyone but then I went back to those first two pages and kept wondering to myself - WTF is going on in this book. It was clear as the case unfolded that Tessa Leoni was a master planner, a highly skill strategist and at the end of it all, I admired the lengths Leoni went to and the pain and hardship she endured for her daughter. More than anything Tessa loved her daughter Sophie to infinity and beyond.

We also get insight into the police investigation from D.D. and Bobby’s point of view. We get to see their decisions, the direction the case is headed and the assumptions being made based on the evidence in this very confusing investigation. No one is above suspicion including prime suspect Tessa Leoni and as the case progresses her police co-workers and an old childhood friend.

The twists and turned did not stop. It was tense, it was dramatic, it was masterful in it’s story-telling and all the pieces of the puzzle lined up like ducks in a row. I had no idea where the story was going and I love when a story takes you on the kind of journey. I wanted so bad to keep reading and was dying to find out what was going to happen next. At one point mid-way through I thought I had a handle on what was going on and was patting myself on the back thinking I was all that and oh soooooooo smart. D’oh I wasn’t even close.

There is only one thing that I have a quibble about and that is throughout this whole book D.D. has to come to terms with a life changing moment in her life and she needs to tell her current love about the monumental change that is about to affect their lives. I was disappointed that this issue was relegated to about a paragraph with no resolution. No face to face meeting just a quick phone conversation of “Alex…we need to talk”.

I can only hope and assume that Gardner is planning on dealing with this little bombshell in the next book.

This was an amazing book and I think it would make a kick-ass movie. Loved, loved, loved it.

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (March 8, 2011)
Read The First Chapter

Pushed to the brink by an abusive husband, state police trooper Tessa Leoni finally snapped and shot him in self-defense. But Tessa isn’t talking–not about her dead husband, her battered face, or her missing six-year old daughter. Now, Detective D.D. Warren will have to race against the clock to unearth family secrets, solve a murder and save a child.

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