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Live to Tell ( D. D. Warren, Book 4)
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on June 15, 2015
This book is about three women. Actually it's about two women and the returning side-character. But for the sake of argument, let's got with three. Danielle Burton is a nurse at a locked-down pediatric psych ward in the Kirkland Medical Center in Boston where she cares for children with special needs. She herself was the lone survivor of the brutal slaying of her family. Victoria Oliver is a single mother whose son Even has a severe mental condition doctors have diagnosed over and over again. Taking care of him has taken up most of her time and has torn her family apart. Then last but not least, there is Detective Sergeant D.D Warren from Boston PD's Homicide Unit. Her squad was called to the scene of a family annihilation in Dorchester.

The story is for the most part well written. The characters of Danielle and Victoria are sympathetic characters, each equally fighting a fierce battle. For Danielle that battle is her dark past and for Victoria that battle is raising her son Even. You learn so much about these women and what they had dealt with in their lives leading up to an ending that definitely surpasses that of Gardner's previous book, The Neighbor. The only problem here is with D.D. She played the same role in this book that she played in the last three books in this so-called series. Maybe Gardner tried to through in some character development for her by teaming her up with Alex Wilson who taught at the academy, but in the end all that really did was create someone for D.D to flirt and maybe get serious with. It didn't tell us what kind of person D.D is, why she does what she does what kind of family does she come from. She likes eating, sex and wearing nice clothes. That doesn't say much. She's kind of pushy and sometimes too much for her own good. She likes to be the boss. Her characters major development but she's still far from a Mary Sue. I may not like D.D, but I can somewhat understand her. She's busy workaholic who takes her job seriously. She may not be Harry Bosch or Jane Rizzoli, but she still far from Bella Swan. She actually does stuff.

I recommend this book for the interesting stories for Danielle Burton and Victoria Oliver; and even though the police work seen from D.D's perspective is interesting it still leaves much to be desired. Just like The Neighbor, it is a great story, but it's not D.D's story. Maybe Love You More will paint us a better picture of D.D Warren. And maybe we'll finally learn what "D.D" stands for,
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on April 3, 2017
This book would have received ten stars from me if it was needed. To say I enjoyed this book is an understatement. To say I couldn't put it down is also an understatement. I especially love reading about children's psychiatric problems because I work with children and find their developing brains fascinating. I also thought that Lisa Gardner treated the subject with the respect it deserves. I feel so for parents of these children. Excellent book, well written, intelligent read and mesmerizing up to the end. Also l love authors who aren't afraid to have a satisfying ending. Thanks so much for the escape! Sue Loomis
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I can't believe how good Lisa Gardner is at ratcheting up the suspense in her books. Live to Tell is the story of a young girl who survives her father's slaughter of her entire family. Unable to reconcile her 'good fortune', as she questions whether father loved her more, or hated her more, Danielle spends her days and nights, as a nurse in an acute psychiatric care unit for troubled children. Damaged herself, Alex pays penance for surviving by saving other children from the horrible things the adults in their family inflict upon them.

Live to Tell starts off with the slaughter of an entire family, supposedly by the father's who had a bullet in his brain. Detective D.D. Warren is on the case, and she's out to get her man, in more ways than one. Frustrated by her job, and by her lack of any human contact that doesn't involve the dead, D.D. is paired with a handsome crime professor, who seems like the prefect guy for D.D., if she can get through all the dead bodies, and onto a badly needed date.

Could it be the father who kills his whole family, or the young boy who the parents are fostering. Is Danielle reenacting her own tragic past by killing other families on the anniversary of her own family's death? Or could it be the gym teacher with the crush on Danielle who works with her in the ward? Maybe it's the 'enlightened' former Wall Street guru, who seems to have a link with the slaughtered family. I really liked Andrew Lightfoot and his talk of going to the 'inner planes' to talk to the deceased. Just the journey though Andrew's woo-woo world was worth buying the book.

One thing I really like about Lisa Gardner is the research, and part of the fun of reading her novels is that you get to truly enter the world she creates. I've never been to a psych-ward, but I feel like I've visited one in my mind. My heart goes out to the parents and the decisions they have to make for their damaged children, and for the children whose parents do the damaging.

Gardner never lets the reader settle on one suspect for very long and she never disappoints when she finally names the killer. Great ending, great beginning, and hard to put down in the middle.
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on September 11, 2016
I love Lisa's books! I learn, and I become so engrossed I can't put them down, so I continue the series. This one will not let you down because it's got all the great developed characters you expect and a mystery you gravitate to and need to know the ending. Love love love DD Warren!
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on April 20, 2017
Another Lisa Gardner book for me. I love each and everyone that I read. It's everything I like in a book, mystery, who done it, and intrigue. You can't go wrong with a Lisa Gardner novel if you like a good crime novel .I loved it.
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on June 6, 2014
The mass murders of two entire families present DD Warren with a case thick with complexity and full of hard-to-resolve issues. But it's very well mapped out by Gardner (not so complex as to be confusing) and a really good read. Two parallell stories concerning women with troubled histories are told in separate chapters alongside the main investigation. These are told in the first person while Warren's story is told in the third person, which I found interesting as it shifts attention away from Warren as the main character. Enough information is given about these women early on to give you a sense of how they might be connected to the case, but it's left ambiguous at first and you get diverted by their personalities and how they cope with their issues. There's plenty of suspense, and an early scene involving two mothers losing sight of their children in a park is brilliantly done, I thought.
As for Warren, I gather that some people have found the focus on her sexual frustrations a bit much and complained that she is not the pleasantest of heroines, bit I enjoyed her character, and as I said, her point of view is not the sole focus of the book.
A note of caution - apart from the awfulness of the crimes, there are some pretty unsavoury scenes. I usually read novels over breakfast of in my lunch hour. A few of the scenes did not go well with food I have to say, and I found myself wondering if I'd be able to get some of the images out of my head.
But its not gratuitous, and unlike some authors like James Patterson in some of the Cross series, Gardner doesn't seem to revel in the awfulness.
Overall, an interesting and entertaining read with some compelling characters that keep you interested.
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on July 21, 2016
I was in the need of a change in authors, not because my longtime favorite James Patterson wasn't still a great read.... but because I needed a break from his main characters. I came across Lisa Gardner and her Detective DD Warren series. This was the perfect transition from Patterson. She really knows how to keep a reader interested with twists and turns. Live to Tell is a quick read ...I don't know if it's because it's short in length or because it keeps you wanting to turn the page to see what happens next. Happy now that I have another fun author to add to my list.
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on September 17, 2015
Lisa Gardner is a first class writer. I have read all her books, then she introduced readers to a very different character by the name of DD Warden. DD us a die hard investigator, pushes her people to get to the root of the problem. She is a no nonsense person in her working life or personal like. What you read into DD's personality is what you see you get, she pulls no punches and always gets the persons she is after. This was certainly one of these great DD Warren books that was suspenseful, very well written, flowed nicely and made you want to keep reading. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery and a unique character.
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on March 16, 2014
I could not have done Evens' mom did Dr her son. I know I am one of those women who are mentally and emotionally incapable of caring for or handling this type of illness. My son is 47this year. God knew what he was doing by letting have only one child.
God bless those families and workers who can handle these problems
Yes I recommend this book 100%.
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on April 13, 2011
If it is possible to call a book that deals with childhood mental illness, being the lone survivor of a family murder, and other such topics an easy read, then Live to Tell fits the bill.

The D.D. Warren series may not be for everyone. Besides the fact that in virtually (if not every) one in the series deals with children either abused in some way or in peril, you have Detective Warren's obsession with food as a replacement for sex being a constant thought in her head, childhood abuse, and other topics that may not make it suitable for everyone.

In previous books, Ms. Gardner's style of story-go-round with each chapter coming from a different character's perspective made the stories while entertaining, a bit choppy feeling and hurt the flow of the story. However, she seemed to have that ironed out here and the story flowed far more evenly, making it far tougher to put down.

As always, the factual elements have been done perfectly thanks to the great research Ms. Garnder does in on her subject matter. But unlike some authors, doesn't go so crazy into the details of police procedure, or other things that they overwhelm the story. This may be disappointing to those that are into that genre, but it makes for a much smoother story; just enough procedure and expertise shown to be believable, without having to prove it by slowing the story down to give the nitty gritty details.

If there is one negative to the book, I'd say it is that it seems to try, almost too hard to make you look in the wrong direction, and in doing so makes the Boston PD Detective and her team almost short sighted.

Other than that, the characters were interesting, the twists and plot angles build constantly as you weave your way through the story from the 3 points of view, giving you only crumbs to lead you to the killer, never really giving you enough to "know" ahead of time, but enough to be able to see it when the pieces all fit into place near the end.

It is a riveting read that makes for perfect beach blanket reading, or whatever your "light reading" metaphor may be. So long as the topics and language aren't a problem for you. It is not for everyone given the subject matter, but for those can get past that, it is a good read.
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