Sunday, October 20, 2013

live to tell

live to tell
d. d. warren #4
lisa gardner
published 2010

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. 

The lives of these three women unfold and connect in unexpected ways, as sins from the past emerge—and stunning secrets reveal just how tightly blood ties can bind. Sometimes the most devastating crimes are the ones closest to home.

Whoa.  This book was intense.  Dealing with very psychologically disturbed children, Live to Tell doesn't pull any punches.  We switch narrators between Detective D. D. Warren, Victoria, the mother of a violent son and Danielle, the only survivor of a family annihilation.  That in itself sounds pretty heavy, but then you add in time spent in a children's psychiatric ward you're pretty much wrung dry.

I have very little to complain about Lisa Gardner's writing.  I was at the edge of my seat, the pages flew by.  I was both enthralled and horrified.  But Warren was sooooo dang grumpy in this book!  I truly don't remember her being this obnoxious.  While the crimes were awful and she had to face them I didn't feel like she was emotionally disturbed by the crimes themselves, but more that she was pissed off that they weren't as clear cut as she thought and she was really horny and not getting any sex.

I counted the number of times she 'scowled' at someone.  It was 13.  One thing that drives me nuts in books is repetitive stuff and the scowling was too much repetition for me.

But really, that was it.  I loved Danielle, went back and forth with Victoria.  Sometimes I felt she was an idiot, that her ex-husband was right and other times I thought she was the hero and in the end I found she was the strongest one of all.

Definitely not a story for everyone.  Definitely full of stuff people don't want to think about actually existing in their world, but it was a good read if you're up for it.

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