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Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner
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Live to Tell (2010)

by Lisa Gardner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: D.D. Warren (Book 4)

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7697212,029 (3.97)1 / 43

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English (71)  Dutch (2)  All languages (73)
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
Worth reading for its vivid treatment of conduct disorder in an institutional setting (a fictional pediatric care ward in a Boston hospital). Conduct disorder in DSM refers to antisocial behavior in children and adolescents. The patients are limited to children with extreme behaviors. Different etiologies are part of the milieu: brain damage due to an infection during pregnancy, extreme parental neglect, autism spectrum, schizophrenia, etc. Treatment is highly labor intensive using licensed nurses, unlicensed MCs, and drugs like Bendaryl and Atavin. The Pediatric Evaluation Clinic of Boston (PECB, loosely—one hopes – based on the Child Assessment Unit of Cambridge, Mass.) is understaffed (seems quite plausible) but lacks security cameras (intentionally) and employs a New Age guru (these seem implausible & might have been tacked on for plot reasons). A number of scenes occur in the ward when acting out (screaming, racing, repetitive actions, vandalism, self-injury) seems to spread through the patients like a wave generated by some contingent action; disturbing enough once but even more disturbing in that it seems to be a regular occurrence. The staff here is very dedicated; burnout and exploitation are not part of this world. Three storylines: the investigators (Sgt Detective D.D. Warren is lead), a divorced mother and her disturbed 8 year old (Victoria Oliver and Evan), and one of the ward nurses (Danielle). Warren has obvious fantasy elements (eats like a horse but doesn’t gain weight; very attractive) but has realistic ally negative traits for a series character who is in policework (obtuse, lacks much psychological insight, unempathetic, eats like a horse). The Victoria-Evan relationship has a strong sense of being an enabler scenario `a la Psycho and Bates Motel, but interestingly the author seems to be far more sympathetic to the Norma Bates character than might be expected; it makes the Psycho relationship a lot more nuanced. Danielle’s backstory is the main driver of the plot. Because she doesn’t want to date a guy two families and an additional disturbed child are murdered, and a third family is kidnapped and menaced. The absurdity of the Danielle story is comparable to the planes of existence universe-view of New Age guru Andrew Lightfoot; it suggests that Gardner doesn’t take the story all that seriously (she apparently has a lottery contest for fan names to be incorporated into the novels). The author’s serious interests were primarily with the institutional environment, the Victoria-Evan battered mom relationship, and the reenactment theme. In addition, some of the loose ends in Danielle’s story may also remind the reader that first person narratives (as with false memories) can be unreliable. ( )
  featherbear | Mar 3, 2015 |
Loved that book, I thought it was very interesting. You rarely get a book that go into the sad world of children who have mental issue. The book kept me on my toes and I couldn't figure out who or why.
One of the best in the series. ( )
  ct.bergeron | Jan 27, 2015 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12453853 ( )
  JosieRivers | Dec 28, 2014 |
On a warm summer night in a working-class Boston neighborhood, an unthinkable crime has been committed: Four members of a family have been brutally murdered. The father - also a possible suspect - lies clinging to life in the Intensive Care Unit. Was it murder-suicide? Or something worse? Veteran police detective D. D. Warren is certain of one thing: There's more to this case than meets the eye.

Danielle Burton is a survivor, a dedicated nurse whose passion is helping the children of a locked-down pediatric psych ward. But she remains haunted by the memories of a family tragedy that shattered her life twenty-five years ago. The dark anniversary is approaching, and when Detective D. D. Warren and her partner show up at the facility, Danielle immediately realizes: it's begun again.

A devoted mother, Victoria Oliver has a hard time remembering what normalcy is like. 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.

I really enjoyed this book. I liked the treatment of the issue of mental illness and how it affects children and their families. I give this book an A+! and look forward to reading Lisa Gardner's next book. ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Sep 10, 2014 |
4th in the D. D. Warren series, something of a letdown, could've been a much shorter, tighter, and more tense story. I read this series out-of-order, as the books became available through swapping, and this is my last until more are published. Reading it, I noticed something else about the writing: Gardner didn't make the major characters very distinct. Although each chapter was titled with the name of a character, and unfolded mostly in first-person perspective, they all seemed quite similar. I had to keep asking myself "Now which one is Victoria? Which one is Danielle? Who's Karen?" The book I liked best in the series was an audio version of CATCH ME, and the narrator(s) did a great job of giving the characters distinct voices. I don't recall ever saying this before, but an abridged audio version of LIVE TO TELL might be an improvement! ( )
  SharronA | Mar 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
This is the third Gardner book I've read and I love how she builds the story and keeps you wanting to turn the page until the books ends too quickly.

I liked the story that she created for this book with the different character, D.D. Warren, the detective that has occurred in three other books, Danielle, a workaholic, and Victoria, and struggling single mother who has one very scary child. Gardner takes these three characters on one very scary and somewhat unsettling ride as she pulls you into the story

I really thought this was a fantastic book and my favorite Gardner so far
added by ELBrown | editLibraryThing Early Reviewers
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gardner, Lisaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aa, Ralph van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deniard, CécileTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gray, RachelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, Ann MarieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowman, RebeccaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potter, KirstenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Windgassen, MichaelÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I don't remember that night much anymore.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Investigating the murder of an entire family that initially appears to be a senseless act of violence, Detective D. D. Warren uncovers disturbingly personal ties to the case that push her to the edges of her sanity.

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