I’m so glad I can do a review about three amazing books about which I have mostly good words to say!
The first book of Lisa Gardner I read was „Catch Me.” When I started I had no idea it was a part of a series. I had no idea “Det. D.D. Warren series” exists in the first place. But I liked Lisa’s books enough to randomly look for her other books. And so I encountered the three: The Neighbor, Live to Tell, and Hide – read in this order. They are all parts of Det. D. D. Warren series, which goes like this:
- The Neighbor
- Live to Tell
- Love you More
- The 7th Month (Novella)
- Catch Me
- Fear Nothing
- 3 Truths and a Lie
- Find Her
Now I really wish I had done this “the right way” and started from “Alone!” Anyhow, I’m hooked to these series and I’m sure I’ll read them all quite soon.
What ties these three books – except for being parts of D.D. Warren series – is the way of writing. There are chapters written in first-person-narrative from a point of view of a particular’s book protagonist, and then there are chapters written in third-part-narration about the investigation of a crime, written mostly from D.D. Warren’s perspective – but not only. I love and admire narrations from multiple points of view, so there’s a big plus for Lisa at the beginning. The parts narrated in first-person narration are great for creating outstanding psychological portrait. After all, there’s a good reason Lisa Gardner is the author or “psychological thrillers.” This must be my favorite kind of books, really. Or one of the very few favorites. And when they’re done correctly – as it’s done here – it’s a book-lovers’ dream come true.
There is, however, one setback. I would say that Hide, Live to Tell and Catch Me, are pretty similar as far as the main characters are concerned: they all had tragic childhood (some trauma, or simply running away from danger), and they all have issues with attachment, and moving on in their adult lives. They live lonely lives, almost separate themselves from others. Somehow, that is the protagonist that I almost always enjoy reading about, so I can forgive this similarity.
There is a good reason why I’m doing these three in one review. Not only because they are parts of a series. Mostly because I can say the same thing about all of them: the action has great pace, the story keeps you guessing, the characters are believable, complex, and well-presented; and the ending is surprising. All that a good thriller should have.
A young, beautiful wife and mother, Sandra Jones, disappears one night. The only possible witness is a 4-year-old Clarissa. Sandra’s husband, Jason, instead of getting into despair and trying to do everything to help the police, does … everything contrary. Detective D.D. Warren suspects him from the beginning, but then there is the neighbor, the registered sex offender. As the story unravels, we learn that there is much more under the image of a “great marriage,” and we learn the secrets of all characters involved. And we still keep guessing – what happened to Sandra?
There was a brutal crime in a working-class part of Boston – four members of a family were murdered, the father in intense therapy. Elsewhere, a nurse Danielle Burton is living a quiet life, not fully having recovered from the tragedy in which her own family had died. The investigation od D.D Warren is going throw her life into chaos, again. Then, there is Victoria, and her sick son; Victoria has sacrificed her life to him. How are those three connected? And who is responsible for the murder of that family?
Annabelle has spent her whole life on the run, though she never got to know why. Now her parents are both dead, and she lives in Boston, where bodies from little girls murdered many years ago, have just been discovered. Could this old crime have anything to do with the reasons for Annabelle’s family to always have been in hiding?
There are some books that are read for pleasure of reading – books that you taste like good wine. Sip slowly, to enjoy every moment, every words. There are also books that you devour, because you just want to know the truth and know if your guesses are correct. The Neighbor, Hide and Live to Tell are of the second kind. Real page-turners – truly hard to put down. And it did its work greatly in my case – kept me guessing till almost the end.
My Rating: 8/10 – for all of them.