Friday, May 11, 2012

Review: Love You More

Love You More
By Lisa Gardner
Bantam March 2011
351 pages
Borrowed from that lovely building full of books

Love You More: A Detective D. D. Warren Novel

Detective D.D. Warren is looking forward to a quiet weekend when she receives a phone call from her former boyfriend and fellow detective Bobby Dodge. A state police trooper claims to have shot and killed her husband in self-defense. But as the investigation proceeds, things aren’t adding up. Tessa’s story doesn’t ring true to D.D. Why would a police officer allow her husband to abuse her? Why did she reach for her gun instead of her baton or taser? And why does Tessa seemingly refuse to help them find the couple’s six year old daughter?

This was an excellent mystery, with plenty of twists and turns. I saw this book all over the internet, and decided to give it a whirl despite the fact that it was the fifth in a series. The good news is that it stands by itself. Gardner gives you just enough background about D.D., Bobby, and their relationship, so that you feel informed, but won’t be bored if you are a devoted reader of the series. I am not a big mystery reader, but I was hooked from the beginning and had the pleasure of a day off on my birthday to get comfy and read Love You More from cover to cover.

The chapters alternate between the viewpoints of D.D., the detective in charge of the case, and Tessa, who is alternately criminal and victim. Love You More succeeds in being both a taut thriller and a meditation on what it means to be a mother. Tessa has placed her love for her daughter above all else. D.D. is about to find out the lengths and depths a mother will go to for her child.

I appreciated that Gardner wrote two strong female protagonists. It’s so refreshing to see a battle of wits between two women. D.D. knows the delicate dance that Tessa must perform as the sole female cop among her male colleagues, but doesn’t allow this to excuse Tessa’s decisions. In the same way, Tessa know what she has to do regardless of the effect it will have on D.D.’s investigation. She hopes that the detective will be able to help her, but she can’t afford to wait for D.D. to figure it out.

Gardner does an excellent job of slowly bringing the reader into the loop. You have to work for each lead, just as D.D. does. The twists and turns and strong, fascinating characters will keep you turning pages long into the night. I will definitely be going back and reading the other adventures of Detective D. D. Warren. 

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