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Live to Tell: A Detective D. D. Warren Novel…
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Live to Tell: A Detective D. D. Warren Novel (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Lisa Gardner

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918749,716 (3.94)1 / 43
Member:pandalibrarian
Title:Live to Tell: A Detective D. D. Warren Novel
Authors:Lisa Gardner
Info:Bantam (2010), Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library, 2012 Book List
Rating:****
Tags:psychiatric nurses, troubled children, Mystery, family killings, relationships, audiobook

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Live to Tell: A Detective D. D. Warren Novel by Lisa Gardner (2010)

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English (74)  Dutch (2)  English (76)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
It wouldn't be fair of me to rate this book. I had to give up on it for personal reasons, due to the subject matter. The story centers around several families being murdered presumably each by the father who then commits suicide. This actually happened to someone I knew, so I couldn't keep listening to the book. I enjoy the rest of the series and plan to go on to the next book after this one.
  crynski | Nov 26, 2016 |
Live to Tell
3.5 Stars

Note: This is a review of the audiobook read by 4 separate female narrators. The narration flows smoothly and the 4 distinct voices makes it easy to follow the transitions in perspective. My one small nitpick is that the male and female voices sound identical.

Warning: Some readers may find the subject matter of this book, family annihilators and children suffering from acute psychiatric issues, difficult to read about. While the descriptions of the troubled children are disturbing and emotionally draining, Gardner should be praised for tackling such a controversial topic and for presenting it in a compelling and sympathetic manner.

That said, there are several aspect of the book that annoyed me. First and foremost are the transitions between first and third person perspective. Rather than adding to the plot, it causes the pacing to lag and the tension to deflate.

While the mystery is good and following the various clues and suspects is entertaining, the identity of the villain is obvious toward the end and the motive is not surprising. Moreover, the 'woo woo' elements, as D.D. calls them, are unnecessary and detract from the excitement and suspense of the story. Also, the final explanation offered in the epilogue undermines the evildoer's culpability and leaves the reader with a dissatisfied feeling.

The characters are well-developed and interesting, Danielle in particular. Unfortunately, D.D. is still coming across as a secondary character and it is difficult to sympathize with Victoria, despite the hardships of her life, because her actions and the reasons for them are simply incomprehensible to me.

Overall, a solid thriller for fans of Gardner's D.D. Warren series but for those new to this author, I would recommend the Quincy/Rainie series instead. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Nov 19, 2016 |
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 five. It appears that the father succumbed to the pressure of financial problems and perpetrated this terrible deed. But when another family suffers the same fate the very next night, D.D.'s cop instinct tells her to look for connections--and the connections lead to a locked-down children's acute psych unit where the most troubled of children are brought for care. One of the caregivers at the psych unit, Danielle, has her own crushing past. She was the sole survivor of the near-annihilation of her own family and, unable to leave the past behind, she is burying herself in her work as the twenty-fifth anniversary of that event draws near. It's clear that Danielle is in some sense a link between the past and the present, but what is the nature of that link?

Dark though the story is, the writing is so effective that you are in a sense left to draw your own conclusions in the end.
( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Listened to the audio version. Not only was the story good but the narration was good too. ( )
  kmmsb459 | Jan 24, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (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
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» 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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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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