Lisa Gardner | Live to Tell (Detective D.D. Warren #4)

The Book: 

Live to Tell (Detective D.D. Warren #4) by Lisa Gardner
Published: July 2010 by Bantam Books

Torrie’s Rating:


The Plot (Lisa Gardner’s Website):

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.

Click here for book spoilers for <em>Live To Tell</em>
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Live To Tell, I suggest you turn back now.

As expected, all the character’s lives connect.

Victoria’s son Evan is disturbed, he is aggressive and violent to everyone around him, including his mother. In order to see her daughter, who lives with Victoria’s ex-husband and Evan’s father, Victoria has an experienced sitter watch Evan a few times a week. One of these sitters is Greg, who is also staff at the pediatric psych ward with Danielle. We’re led to believe that Greg may be seeing Victoria, but their relationship is purely professional. Victoria is actually seeing Andrew Lightfoot, the shaman and woo-woo man who has worked with all of the families in the book.

At the end of the book we learn that Andrew Lightfoot is actually the son of Sheriff Wayne – the sheriff that found Danielle after her family was killed. On his deathbed, Sheriff Wayne confessed to his son Andrew that he was in love with Danielle’s mother and had been planning to run away with her the night that her husband killed her and the other two children.

Andrew wanted to punish Danielle and recreated the death of her family, first with the two massacred families then with Evan and his family, with Danielle there to save them.

Torrie’s Review:

I sound like a broken record, but I swear Lisa Gardner only knows how to write a story where old secrets create a modern mystery. I enjoy the two-fold storytelling where we’re trying to understand the past and solve the current crime, but it feels a bit formulaic when you’re reading her books back to back, like I have been. All that being said, I didn’t completely guess this ending. I guessed who did it, but I couldn’t understand the why, and I certainly kept second-guessing myself. The layers of mystery kept me entertained and interested, I flew through reading this book as I really needed to know what happened!

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