Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner, New York : Bantam Books, 2010.

Live to Tell by Lisa GardnerTwenty-five years ago, Danielle Burton was the sole survivor of her family’s murder.  Today, she is a dedicated nurse in the acute care child psychology ward.  She may not have come to terms with her past and she definitely doesn’t talk about it, but she can and does use her pain to help her patients.

Victoria Oliver is doing her best to survive a unique situation.  Once the envied couple of her social circle, young, wealthy, self-made successes, Victoria and Michael had it all.  Now, divorced and a self-enforced prisoner of her once great home, Victoria takes one day at a time navigating the happy, joy-filled moments and disturbed, murderous whims of her eight-year-old son, Evan.

D. D. Warren is good at her job.  In charge of her own unit, Detective Warren thrives on the thrill of it all, but struggles against the lack of time to devote to a personal life.  When another date is disrupted by a new case, what can she do?  A family has been savagely murdered; the father lying in intensive care, the prime suspect.  When investigations lead to the acute care child psychology ward and Danielle Burton in particular, is it a coincidence that this murder and her family’s past mimic each other so closely?

Further incidents drive suspicions higher as the investigation draws on.  When Evan Oliver has a psychotic break, our mastermind uses the aftermath to bring everything to a head.  Join Detective D. D. and her new unit tag-a-long and appealing man, Alex, as they immerse themselves in the chaotic and slightly unnerving world of child psychology to uncover a mystery that may lead to a night shrouded in terror from twenty-five years ago.

“Live to Tell” has it all, gripping plot line, wonderful characters and a mysterious killer that has you guessing until the bitter end.  This is one read that will keep you coming back, whether you’ve read any other books in the Detective D.D. Warren Series or not.  Also available in audiobook format [book on CD and downloadable], narrated by a team of people who have created a world of easy to follow character changes and eerie moments from both Danielle’s memory and during Evan’s bad moments.  A suspenseful and slightly disturbing roller coaster ride.

Susana Goldman is the Associate Director of Operations for the Alamance County Public Library.  She can be reached at (336) 290-8679 or sgoldman@alamancelibraries.org.