Tuesday, July 13, 2010

a review of "Live To Tell" [52]

Live To Tell: A Detective D.D.Warren Novel by Lisa Gardner
Bantam Books, July 13, 2010, ISBN 978-0553807240

This is the latest in the Detective Sergeant D.D.Warren series but do not be at all concerned if you have read the previous books. This book totally stands alone and any necessary back story is clear. But it does make me think I should go back and read some of the others, because this was an excellent book and I can only assume I would like the others as much.

This is a book about children with severe psychological issues, children who were born with them, children that acquired them as the result of abuse, their families, and those professionals that work with them.

We view these issues from several points of view. First there is Danielle, herself the sole survivor of a family annihilation, when her father killed the entire family, her mother, sibling and then himself, leaving only her, in her room, hearing the whole thing, alive. Severely damaged herself, now she works with these terribly troubled children, bringing a unique perspective to their treatment.

Then there is Victoria, a woman caring for her very, very scary eight year old son, introduced in one of the best chapters I have ever read in a book. Ever. Knocked my socks off.

And, of course, we then have D.D., called in to investigate what appears at first to be a case where a father killed his entire family and then tried to kill himself. But when there is a second incident, with ties to the first, it seems police may be dealing with something quite different and, as hard as it is to believe, even more disturbing.

I have read several of Ms. Gardner books before, and while I certainly enjoyed them, this book was, for me, in a whole other category of reading pleasure. I do warn you that the whole topic that runs throughout the book, of children who are mentally disturbed may not be everyone's cup of tea. It is very well done, from several perspectives, but at times, very intense.

An excellent book, fast paced, disturbing, and very well written and highly recommended.

My thanks to Bantam Books for an ARC of this book.


  1. I have been a fan of Lisa Gardner and the D.D. Warren series. Looking forward to this one.

  2. Nancy Fitzgerald commented on a review of "Live To Tell" -
    Where is Bandit Tuesday?? Bandit will be sad!

  3. diane commented on a review of "Live To Tell" -
    I finished this one on Sunday. Gardner never disappoints me. Loved your review Caite.

  4. Nancy, Bandit will be appearing on Thursday. Most likely, always on Thursday.
    Not that he often drops by to comment these days.

    So what did you think of the review? lol

  5. That does sound disturbing, but it also sounds like a book I would like. I'll be watching for Bandit!!

  6. Great job, Caite! You're right ... you do like disturbing. And that chapter you refer to ... chilling. I felt like my heart stopped when I got to the end. I didn't love it as much as you did (as much as you can love books like this) but it was definitely one of her better ones.

  7. YOu and I do love our sick and twisted reads, dont we? I've read a number of books by Gardener, but I'll be darned if I can remember if it is this series. A young woman works for FBI? Her dad does too? Her mom was murdered? Ring a bell?


please speak up, I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!