Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner (review #137)

Title: Live to Tell

Author: Lisa Gardner
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Bantam
Format: My shelves

Thank you, Mystery Challenge, for finally prompting me to read Lisa Gardner. I could not put this book down! Silly me, I even felt a little hesitant because it wasn't the shiniest or newest book on my pile. Darnit, though, I was sticking to my challenge. I had not fulfilled the letter "G" yet so I read it. SO SO GLAD I DID!

I have never read her before but have definitely been curious. She seemed to do the psychological thriller type of mystery that I really like, if it's done well. My mom and my pal, Cheryl, had already read this one last summer after I got back from BEA. (Yes, I'm that behind). They both remarked that is was excellent. I would agree wholeheartedly.

Here is a description 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.

In New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner’s most compelling work of suspense to date, 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.

Lisa Gardner's writing style definitely has a hook to it. She has a way of building up suspense in each chapter even when not a whole lot happens. She leaves you hanging and then always comes back to satisfy you. It was told from three different perspectives, all women and you don't really see how they are all tied in until about half way. And then, BAM, it's none stop suspense.

I was especially intrigued (and a tad bit horrified) with the subject of mental health in children. It saddens me that there are children out there that have either been so badly abused or neglected that they are uncontrollable beings at this point. They have not received any of their basic needs in order for them to developmentally grow into healthy emotional children. This topic was pretty heavy throughout, in Danielle's work as a Pediatric Nurse and with Victoria and her son who suffered from a severe psychotic disorder.
The subject wasn't done is a flashy way or an over the top Lifetime movie of the week way. It was laid out pretty matter of fact, which made it even more terrifying and unputdownable to read.

All the women in this book were fascinating to read as well. They were all flawed and beaten up in their own way. D.D Warren was crass, sharp and brutally honest. In the midst of all the craziness in her work, she freely admits that all she really needed to do was get laid. This may sound flippant but it was real. With all the horror she sees on a daily basis, she was honest in needing the simple comfort of someone near her at the end of the day. I will definitely be reading more of her series.

Rating: 6/6
I give this my top rating. Though at times, the subject matter was a bit harsh and gruesome, I think Lisa Gardner wrote a well written, chilling thriller. I really liked the D.D Warren and want to go back and read the previous books in her series. As far as psychological thrillers go, Gardner rates at the top. I would put her up there with Harlan Coben, who is a huge favorite of mine.
I'm so glad I finally read this and also completed a letter in my Mystery Challenge!

Author Website:

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Marce said...

I can't believe how similar we are at times. I haven't read her either, and have had her on my list to try forever so you have sealed the deal.

Great review, this one sounds totally me.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Okay so I need to read Lisa Garner soon! I definitely think I'm hooked :)

Stacy at The Novel Life said...

OOO I've always loved Lisa Gardner but for some reason have not read this one yet...would you believe I don't even KNOW if I have it one my shelves! how sad is that! fantastic review and now i'm off to see if I can find the book!

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

I've read all the books in the D.D. Warren series and I love them! This one was pretty brutal, but it's a page turner!

Ryan said...

I'm glad you liked it.

Julie said...

I don't think I've read anything by her either, but this sounds like something I would definitely like.

Siobian said...

This sounds so good! Your awesome review makes me want to read it immediately. Thanks for the recommendation!