Book Review: Live to Tell

Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner

The blurb: A savage crime has rocked a working class neighbourhood of Boston; four members of a family have been brutally murdered. The father is lying in an intensive care unit, his survival in doubt. He is the principal suspect. Female police detective DD Warren, however, is not one to take things at face value. At the same time, Danielle Burton is about to have her life thrown into turmoil; a nurse whose life is at the service of her profession, she has tentatively recovered from a devastating family tragedy of decades before – and the investigation by Warren and her partner is about the throw Danielle’s life into chaos once again. There is one more angle to the triangle: the devotion of a mother, Victoria Oliver, to her disturbed son is about to be tested to the limit.

Danielle often thinks about that night when her childhood her ended. The sound of her father shooting her mother and then hunting down her brother, as she cowered under her duvet, trying to drown out the sound. She can remember the sound her brother made as he was killed. And she can remember her father standing in the doorway of her bedroom, saying ‘I’m sorry, Danielle…’ before he turned the gun on himself. Haunting enough for any child, but Danielle has always wondered, why not her too? Why did her father let her go? Years later, Danielle is working in a hospital that deals with the most violent and damaged of children. And someone there knows something about her past, and is prepared to kill to keep it quiet…

My review: Well, there are some quite shocking twists in this book, its not for the faint hearted and it certainly kept me awake at night!

I like to think I’ve read quite a few crime books and there were one or two things I spotted from early on but Lisa Gardner writes in a way that doesnt make you feel you’ve lost out through guessing. This book reads like a movie script. It’s not overly descriptive and the characters, especially the police/detective elements are left worryingly two dimensional. The main detective, DD Warren, seems to only care about food and sex and she grated on my nerves immensley. However by about half way through she’d won me round. Namely because some of the other characters were even more annoying! I’ve since learned that DD Warren is one of Gardner’s regular characters so lets hope the stories are similarily gripping (to get away from the blonde, sexually frustrated detective angle!)

I wasn’t prepared to like this book but I did and I raced through it. This thriller gets under your skin and digs its nails in, the psychological elements are where Gardner shines. The body count is ridiculously high, easily gaining double figures before you’re halfway through the book, but unlike a lot of crime books lately its not filled with gratuitous gore. It does give you plenty to think about though and you wont look at families the same way again! A pleasing thriller.

7 out of 10 stars! *******

BUY ME! Live to Tell

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