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  • Sep 19, 2010
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Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.

Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner is a taut page turner. Detective D.D. Warren is called out to the scene of an apparent family tragedy wherein a father killed his family and then turned the gun on himself. However, before Warren can resolve the crime to her satisfaction, she is called to another, similar scene and she realizes that what she had thought was family tragedy is actually much, much more, a serial killer.

Warren's investigation soon settles on a children's acute psychiatric ward where severely disturbed kids are sent for stabilization until a permanent placement can be found for them. Warren learns that a child in each of the murdered families spent time on this ward and becomes convinced that psychiatric nurse Danielle Burton, herself the childhood survivor of a family tragedy, knows more than she is telling about the children and the murders.

The point of view in this book jumps back and forth between different characters-- Warren, Danielle, and others-- the mother of a severely disturbed, homicidal eight-year-old and a young girl who has been raised without any social contact and is completely feral. Gardner deftly maintains the twisted threads of the plotline, almost until the very end when, I felt, she lost the whole thing with a resolution that just plain didn't make much sense to me. The ending was very disappointing because up until then I was thoroughly enjoying the book.

So if the ending had been better, I would have given the book 5 stars. It was an excellent read, hard to put down, with a good depiction of mentally ill children and those who work with them. The weak, confusing ending, however, spoiled what would have been an absolutely excellent read.

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More Live to Tell: A Detective D. D... reviews
review by . May 13, 2011
On a warm summer night an entire family in Boston are killed. It looks like a murder-suicide and the father clings to live at an ICU.      The following day, in another part of town, a new family is killed. There doesn't seem to be anything to connect the crimes.      D.D. Warren of the Boston homicide unit is called in and after viewing the crime scenes feels as if there's just too much here to be coincidental.      We learn of …
review by . May 30, 2010
LIVE TO TELL is the fourth book in best-selling author Lisa Gardner's Detective D.D. Warren series; for all the horror of its subject matter, readers will find it impossible to put down. D.D. Warren is a thirty-eight year old blonde, head of a three-person homicide unit in the Boston Police Department. Her work gives her little time for a personal life.    The call that interrupts D.D.'s latest blind date is horrific: a "family annihilation," the murder-suicide of a family of …
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Starred Review. At the heart of Gardner's outstanding fourth novel featuring Boston PD detective Warren (after The Neighbor) are some very sick kids, notably Lucy, a nine-year-old feral girl who self-mutilates when any attention is given to her, and Evan, an eight-year-old boy who during fits threatens to kill his mother. D.D gets involved after two grisly family annihilations lead to the locked-down pediatric psych ward in Cambridge that specializes in Lucy's and Evan's types of hard case. When a child is too sick and the parent can no longer handle care, the child ends up in the acute care facility under the tutelage of pediatric psych nurse Danielle, the lone survivor of her own family bloodbath. Coincidence? That's for D.D. to figure out--in the midst of a budding romance with police academy professor Alex Wilson and infuriating encounters with Andrew Lightfoot, resident "woo-woo expert" (that's cop talk for psychic), who works in tandem with the hospital. Plenty of red herrings keep readers guessing, but Gardner always plays fair in this tight and consistently engaging page-turner.
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ISBN-10: 0553807242
ISBN-13: 978-0553807240
Author: Lisa Gardner
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Bantam
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