S.D.'s Reviews > Live to Tell

Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner
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's review
Apr 08, 10

bookshelves: mystery-thriller
Read from April 03 to 08, 2010

There is a lot more about what lurks in the human brain than we will ever learn in our lifetime. The book focuses on a pediatric psych ward in Boston and the effects of mental illness on a family. Detective D.D. Warren investigates the murders of two entire families. The only link is that a child in each of the families had been under the care at one time of the same psych ward. The author tells the story from the first person viewpoint of each of the main characters. One of the nurses in the ward is herself the lone survivor of a “supposed” murder-suicide of her family twenty-five years ago. This is one of the most riveting, chilling tales I have ever read. I can understand how abused children can be withdrawn and self-destructive. But what is difficult for me to grasp is how murderous, destructive thoughts can enter into minds that are too young to have absorbed such ideas or learn the vicious and threatening words that come out of their mouths. My first thought was that this was the reason priests once did exorcisms. As I read some passages I almost expected the child’s head to spin 360 degrees. I’m not sure if the stats in this book are true or a figment of the author’s imagination. She states that the number of kids admitted to a psych ward in a year is now the number they see in a month. She also states that a child’s body quickly becomes immune to the drugs it is given, to the point where eventually few drugs help. One point made in the book which wasn’t clarified was that one of the kids was a premature birth which was brought on by an infection the mother had during pregnancy. It made me wonder if the infection had anything to do with the kid’s mental problems but it was never mentioned again. D.D. Warren is a strong, female lead character. This is the first in this series I have read and I am certainly going to look for others. It is only April but this book is already on my “best reads of the year” list.

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