Live to Tell is an intense psychological thriller that Lisa Gardner expertly crafts using a heinous mass murder as her starting point. Danielle, the sole survivor of that tragic event, is a nine year old girl who is scarred by the inexplicable murder/suicide that decimated her entire family. Twenty-five years later, she has become a pediatric psych nurse and works with severely troubled kids. Sergeant Detective D.D. Warren has been a detective for 12 years and is finally trying to enjoy a night off when she becomes involved in a pair of horrendous cases that will cause the next five days to become as much of a nightmare as the memories that Danielle is struggling with. Victoria once had the stereotypical American dream with a beautiful house, happy marriage and two children until her young son Evan tears it all apart with his horrific rages that endanger everyone around him. Victoria is not willing to institutionalize him despite his episodes of abuse and lives in constant fear of his acting upon his threats to murder her. The lives of these three women become inextricably intertwined as the homicide investigations proceed and it is up to Detective Warren to solve the murders in time to prevent even more evil from being unleashed upon Boston.
This was such a creepy and intense book that I could only read it in installments, taking breaks to read something a little lighter in between. It was a bit disconcerting to shift between the three different characters’ lives as the week passes but the gradual revelations and escalation of violence will keep the reader morbidly fascinated by the multiple tragic stories unfolding. A well-written enlightening look at some of the personality disorders experienced by troubled children and their impact upon caregivers delivered in a powerful and spine-tingling tale.