Love You More (Detective D. D. Warren Series #5)

Love You More (Detective D. D. Warren Series #5)

4.1 676
by Lisa Gardner
     
 

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WHO DO YOU LOVE?
Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, state police trooper Tessa Leoni, claims to have shot him in self-defense, and bears the bruises to back up her tale. For veteran detective D. D. Warren it should be an open-and-shut case. But where is their six-year-old daughter?
 
AND HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO . .

Overview

WHO DO YOU LOVE?
Brian Darby lies dead on the kitchen floor. His wife, state police trooper Tessa Leoni, claims to have shot him in self-defense, and bears the bruises to back up her tale. For veteran detective D. D. Warren it should be an open-and-shut case. But where is their six-year-old daughter?
 
AND HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO . . .
As the homicide investigation ratchets into a frantic statewide search for a missing child, D. D. Warren must partner with former lover Bobby Dodge to break through the blue wall of police brotherhood, seeking to understand the inner workings of a trooper’s mind while also unearthing family secrets. Would a trained police officer truly shoot her own husband? And would a mother harm her own child?
 
. . . TO SAVE HER?
For Tessa Leoni, the worst has not yet happened. She is walking a tightrope, with nowhere to turn and no one to trust. She has one goal in sight, and she will use every ounce of her training to do what must be done. No sacrifice is too great, no action unthinkable. A mother knows who she loves. And all others will be made to pay.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“One of the best thriller writers in the business has written her best book to date.”—Associated Press

“Leads the reader on a breathless search until the final pages.”—The Star-Ledger

“Having already produced a dozen successful thrillers, Gardner proves herself not only a very clever storyteller here, capable of pulling together a complicated series of events, but also a writer able to invest her characters (particularly her female ones) with emotional substance. Compelling and unexpected, this tale of mystery and maternal devotion shows Gardner at her very best.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Gardner’s characters are fully drawn . . . and her taut storytelling and dizzying plot will appeal to fans of Harlan Coben.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Gardner hits an impressive new high with her latest taut thriller. . . . Unbelievably gripping and clever, you won’t want to put it down until the final page!”—RT Book Reviews

“Gripping . . . jaw-dropping.”—Publishers Weekly

“This book had me at the author’s name. Lisa Gardner . . . no one owns this corner of the genre the way she does—and Love You More might be her best ever.”—Lee Child

“Tessa Leoni is a dedicated single mom when she is swept away by a man who turns out to be the wrong guy. Emotionally true, harrowing, and unputdownable. Brava, Lisa Gardner!”—Lisa Scottoline

“A heart-pounding tale of family drama by the Mozart of thriller writers. I could not tear myself away.”—Tess Gerritsen

“I dare you to try and put this book down. Gardner does her homework and loads this thriller chockfull of authentic details, giving readers a front seat ride that will leave you gasping.”—Alex Kava

“Crisp prose, crackling plots, layered characters. A stickler for detail. Lisa Gardner is the best female thriller writer working today.”—Steve Berry

“Lisa Gardner is an amazing writer. Her characters are multi-dimensional and believable, and they tell the kinds of stories that grip you right from the first page.”—Karin Slaughter

“I loved that this book had not just one but two amazing, compelling, complex, and incredibly strong kick-ass female characters.”—Suzanne Brockmann

“Lisa Gardner’s books come with a built-in set of hands. They reach up out of the pages, grab you by the lapels, and hold you until you’ve read to the final, suspense-filled sentence. And Love You More is no exception.”—Linwood Barclay

“It has the chills and thrills to excite, and the heart to draw you in.”—Sandra Brown

Publishers Weekly
Near the start of Thriller Award–winner Gardner's gripping fifth novel featuring Boston PD Sgt. Det. D.D. Warren (after Live to Tell), D.D.'s former partner and one-time lover, Det. Bobby Dodge, of the Massachusetts State Police, asks her to look into what appears to be a clear-cut homicide case. The evidence suggests that Tessa Leoni, a state trooper colleague of Bobby's, shot and killed her abusive husband, Brian Darby, who may have kidnapped her six-year-old daughter, Sophie. But Tessa won't talk about her bruises, her husband, or what might have happened to her child. D.D. examines every detail about the family, while Tessa uses her skills to manipulate the investigation. From Tessa's point of view, we learn about her and Brian's courtship, his affection for Sophie, and how the marriage began to disintegrate. Gardner sprinkles plenty of clues and inventive twists to keep readers off-kilter as the suspense builds to a realistic, jaw-dropping finale. Author tour. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Tough-gal detective D.D. Warren (Live To Tell) is grappling with her own personal issues when she is assigned to a case that makes her life seem easy. State trooper Tessa Leoni overcame a difficult childhood and alcoholism to become a loving single mom to her daughter, Sophie, and a respected police officer. After three years of marriage to merchant mariner Brian, everything seems to be going great, despite his erratic work schedule. So why is D.D. called to a crime scene where Brian's been murdered, Tessa's nearly beaten to death, and Sophie's missing? Things get even more interesting when Tessa confesses to the murder but has no idea where her daughter is. D.D. knows that Tessa's spinning a web of lies, but getting to the truth will take quite a bit of work. VERDICT Gardner's characters are fully drawn (this reviewer was not even aware that Warren is a series character), and her taut storytelling and dizzying plot will appeal to fans of Harlan Coben. [Author tour; library marketing.]—Rebecca Vnuk, Forest Park, IL
Kirkus Reviews

In her fifth case (Live to Tell, 2010, etc.), Sergeant Detective D.D. Warren takes on one tough mother.

Tessa Leoni is smart, brave, resourceful and quirky, among other character traits that bring to mind, yes, D.D. Warren, who might well be her mirror image. For instance, Tessa believes unshakably in the doctrine of my way or get lost, convinced that her way has been sanctioned by whatever gods there may be and is consequently the only sensible way out of trouble and strife. She is as stubborn about that kind of thing as D.D. would be under similar circumstances. Tessa, a Massachusetts state trooper, and D.D., a Boston homicide cop, both view law enforcement with high seriousness. In fact, if asked to furnish a list prioritizing life-callings, it's a no-brainer that both women would rank only one item before it: motherhood, which might, curiously enough, bear directly on the instant hostility that newly pregnant D.D. feels for Tessa on first meeting her. This takes place in Tessa's kitchen, where her husband has only recently lain dead, three bullets in his chest. No mystery how they got there. She fired them, Tessa explains, and one look at the severe bruising of her face—a broken cheekbone among other injuries—testifies in her behalf: A battered wife has, with considerable justification, shot her abuser. But where, wonders D.D., is 6-year-old Sophie? What's happened to the daughter everyone says Tessa loves so deeply? And, most importantly, most infuriatingly, why isn't Tessa more eager to help the police search for her? Was it already too late for Sophie? And could Tessa possibly be complicit? The all but unflappable D.D. shudders: "How could a woman...How could a mother..."

Takes a bit long to get where it's obviously going; still, you won't often find two such sympathetic protagonists paired, refreshingly, as antagonists.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553591927
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/2012
Series:
Detective D. D. Warren Series, #5
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
46,758
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 4.22(h) x 1.14(d)

Read an Excerpt

Who do you love?

It’s a question anyone should be able to answer. A question that defines a life, creates a future, guides most minutes of one’s days. Simple, elegant, encompassing.

Who do you love?

He asked the question, and I felt the answer in the weight of my duty belt, the constrictive confines of my armored vest, the tight brim of my trooper’s hat, pulled low over my brow. I reached down slowly, my fingers just brushing the top of my Sig Sauer, holstered at my hip.

"Who do you love?" he cried again, louder now, more insistent.

My fingers bypassed my state- issued weapon, finding the black leather keeper that held my duty belt to my waist. The Velcro rasped loudly as I unfastened the first band, then the second, third, fourth. I worked the metal buckle, then my twenty pound duty belt, complete with my sidearm, Taser, and collapsible steel baton released from my waist and dangled in the space between us.

"Don’t do this," I whispered, one last shot at reason.

He merely smiled. "Too little, too late."

"Where’s Sophie? What did you do?"

"Belt. On the table. Now."

"No."

"GUN. On the table. NOW!"

In response, I widened my stance, squaring off in the middle of the kitchen, duty belt still suspended from my left hand. Four years of my life, patrolling the highways of Massachusetts, swearing to defend and protect. I had training and experience on my side.

I could go for my gun. Commit to the act, grab the Sig Sauer, and start  shooting.

Sig Sauer was holstered at an awkward angle that would cost me precious seconds. He was watching, waiting for any sudden movement. Failure would be firmly and terribly punished.

Who do you love?

He was right. That’s what it came down to in the end. Who did you love and how much would you risk for them?

"GUN!" he boomed. "Now, dammit!"

I thought of my six- year- old daughter, the scent of her hair, the feel of her skinny arms wrapped tight around my neck, the sound of her voice as I tucked her in bed each night. "Love you, Mommy," she always whispered.

Love you, too, baby. Love you. 

His arm moved, first tentative stretch for the suspended duty belt, my holstered weapon.

One last chance . . .

I looked my husband in the eye. A single heartbeat of time.

Who do you love?

I made my decision. I set down my trooper’s belt on the kitchen table.

And he grabbed my Sig Sauer and opened fire.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“One of  the best thriller writers in the business has written her best book to date.”  —Associated Press

“Having already produced a dozen successful thrillers, Gardner proves herself not only a very clever storyteller here, capable of pulling together a complicated series of events, but also a writer able to invest her characters (particularly her female ones) with emotional substance. Compelling and unexpected, this tale of mystery and maternal devotion shows Gardner at her very best.”  —Booklist

“Gardner's characters are fully drawn…and her taut storytelling and dizzying plot will appeal to fans of Harlan Coben.”  —Library Journal

“Gardner hits an impressive new high with her latest taut thriller….Unbelievably gripping and clever, you won’t want to put it down until the final page!”  
—Romantic Times Book Review

“Gripping….jaw-dropping.”  —Publishers Weekly

"This book had me at the author’s name. Lisa Gardner…no one owns this corner of the genre the way she does—And Love You More might be her best ever."
—Lee Child

"Tessa Leoni is a dedicated single mom when she is swept away by a man who turns out to be the wrong guy. Emotionally true, harrowing, and unputdownable. Brava, Lisa Gardner!"
—Lisa Scottoline

"A heart-pounding tale of family drama by the Mozart of thriller writers.  I could not tear myself away."
—Tess Gerritsen

"I dare you to try and put this book down. Gardner does her homework and loads this thriller chockfull of authentic details, giving readers a front seat ride that will leave you gasping."
—Alex Kava

"Crisp prose, crackling plots, layered characters. A stickler for detail. Lisa Gardner is the best female thriller writer working today."
—Steve Berry

"Lisa Gardner is an amazing writer. Her characters are multi-dimensional and believable, and they tell the kinds of stories that grip you right from the first page."
—Karin Slaughter

"I loved that this book had not just one but two amazing, compelling, complex, and incredibly strong kick-ass female characters."
—Suzanne Brockmann

"Lisa Gardner’s books come with a built-in set of hands. They reach up out of the pages, grab you by the lapels, and hold you until you’ve read to the final, suspense-filled sentence. And Love You More is no exception."
—Linwood Barclay

“It has the chills and thrills to excite, and the heart to draw you in.”
—Sandra Brown

Meet the Author

Lisa Gardner is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels. Her Detective D. D. Warren novels include Live to Tell, Hide, Alone, and The Neighbor, winner of the International Thriller Writers’ Award. Her FBI Profiler novels include Say Goodbye, Gone, The Killing Hour, The Next Accident, and The Third Victim. She lives with her family in New England.

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Love You More 4.1 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 676 reviews.
-Madison- More than 1 year ago
"Love You More" is a thriller and loaded with suspense as Tessa Leoni faces time in Hell trying to prove her innocence. She has been a Massachusetts state trooper for four years and has a beautiful six-year-old daughter, Sophie, and a husband, Brian Darby of three years. Brian has been shot to death and Sophie is missing. Detectives on the case soon suspect Tessa of cold blooded murder, having killed her husband and little girl. The forensic evidence is puzzling, and Leoni, who is less than cooperative, has a battered and swollen face, apparently, from a beating. The situation becomes more complicated and ambiguous, and it is suspected that Tessa has been lying to them from the beginning. This one is just plain intriguing from the beginning and the writing impeccable. Madison Pridgen, A member of Between the Lines book club
Mara Phillips More than 1 year ago
I love all the D.D warren books. this was so worth it! Almost impossible to put down
nancymitchell More than 1 year ago
LOVE YOU MORE begins with a dead man, Brian, whose murder is not just an every day homicide. His wife has been beaten and their young daughter has vanished. Detective DD Warren is called in to investigate. She is joined by State Police investigator Bobby Dodge, her former lover, (previous books). The badly beaten woman is also a State Police Officer. As the detectives try to make sense of the puzzle they initially believe that the husband could have been a wife beater and she had finally had enough and shot him with her own weapon. Nothing is as it seems. The occasional hint of a romantic spark flickers between DD and Bobby as they work together in close proximity. There is plenty of action on this roller coaster ride to keep the reader engrossed. LOVE YOU MORE could be considered a bit over-the-top but the fascinating details about prisons, police procedure, and the challenges the detectives face every day in their work make it totally believable. Gardner keeps the reader entertained and thrilled all the way through this sizzling and brilliant page-turner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best Lisa Gardner book so far. Fast paced, good read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Her former lover Massachusetts State Police Detective Booby Dodge calls Boston Police Sergeant D.D. Warren to tell her to get her butt over here as they have the worst type of case to investigate. The victim is merchant marine Brian Darby who lies on a kitchen floor in his pool of blood. His wife Massachusetts State Trooper Tessa Leoni confesses she killed her husband but that it was self-defense as he battered her. Missing is her six-year old daughter Sophie. Tessa offers nothing beyond her confession; insisting she has no idea where her daughter is. With a sea of blue sympathy for Tessa, Warren and Dodge work the difficult case in which the death seems obvious but the child's disappearance does not. Warren believes Leone is lying and that the untruths relate to the child, but her efforts to learn the truth and save the kid are hampered by her peers and the mother who refuses to tell her anything but fabrications. This is a great police procedural that grips the audience from the moment Dodge calls Warren and never slows down. The key to this exciting thriller is that all the players including Gertrude behave in a genuine way. As Leoni answers the question "Who do you love?" fans will appreciate Warren's latest investigation (see Live To Tell). Harriet Klausner
maya51 More than 1 year ago
Fast paced as Lisa Gardner books are usually written. Great author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent thriller. I haven't been surprised by a book this much in years. The twists and turns were unexpected and nothing was as it seemed. Loved it!
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
Massachusetts State Trooper Tessa Leoni has a problem. She has been beaten to a pulp, apparently by her husband. He is lying dead on their kitchen floor, with three rounds from her service revolver in his chest. As a topper, her six year old daughter is missing. Boston Police Sergeant D. D. Warren thinks this may be a straight forward case of battered wife kills husband, but why is the daughter missing? Why is Tessa so uncooperative when questioned by the police? Is there something else going on here? As forensic evidence reports come in, it looks more like Tessa may have murdered her husband and possibly her daughter. Tessa isn't talking. Why won't she confide in her fellow officers if she is innocent? Sir Walter Scott got it right when he wrote, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive!" The author, Lisa Gardner is a master manipulator, spinning a web of mystery that will keep you entwined in this action packed story until the thrilling end. This is my first Lisa Gardner novel and I am looking forward to delving into her other books. This book was provided for review by the well read folks at Bantam and the Random House Publishing Group.
Russ_Ilg More than 1 year ago
Love You More by Lisa Gardner Reviewed by Russ Ilg Lisa Gardner was the winner of last years Best Thriller Novel at The Thriller Writers Convention in New York City for The Neighbor. A huge honor for any writer and well deserved for one of the best in the industry. Now she has her next smash hit ready to hit the stores, Love You More. I really felt that she had reached her stride in The Neighbor and was hoping she could do just as well with her new book. Well was I thrown a curve. She not only matched her best to date but blew it right out of the water. I usually read 4-5 books a week and you get to know what to expect from the people you read all the time. I have no idea where this came from but it is by far the most twisted, non-stop thriller I can remember reading in years. The story grabs you the second you pick it up and read the 1st sentence, then hold on, you are about to embark on one of the greatest rides of your life in a book that will not stop for one second. The pace and twist and turns are completely off the charts. You had better have a good nights rest before you start this novel because you will not sleep again until you have finished every last word of it. And do not think it ends there; there will be days to come that all you can think about is what happened in this stellar thriller. The story is so real, it is hard to believe the amount of time Lisa had to spend on the research to get all the details right. It is as if it was ripped right out of the nightly news as the most sensational story in years. I had to keep telling myself it is only a story, it is not real, as every bone in my body was living the story as it unfolded. The real way of knowing how super a talent Lisa has become is to read the book. How anyone is able to see so far ahead in a story so detailed and in completely uncharted territory. Lisa has done what no author has been able to do since I was a teenager and I qualify for AARP now. She drew me in so deep that I was unable to have a clue where the story would go. I used the word story but it was much more than that: Every word and every page was a step to the end that turned into another bizarre twist that blew me away. A book is like a movie to me; I picture the whole thing unfolding in my mind which makes books so rare. They allow you to see what is happening and interpret it in your mind much better than any regular movie or TV episode which shows you what you need to see. There is so much between the lines, under the surface, making this one of the greatest thrillers of all times. If you do not read another book this year and you love thrillers and suspense, this is the one it will stay with you for years to come. It is just so shocking and beyond belief that anyone has this type of ability to bring this altogether. I would love to see someone make a movie of this if they could keep to the book. It would be one of the best of all times. Lisa will being doing a tour of this novel that you can find on her web site or just by goggling her name and clicking on her official website; it lists every place she will be. Do yourself a huge favor and go out a meet her in person, the award winning greatest author of the year. You will have the best time in the world and learn what it takes to be so great. She is by far just a great person like anyone of us and cannot do enough for the people that come and see her. She will answer any question you have and is just plea
RaeSpeak More than 1 year ago
Having not read the back cover, I picking up the book "Love You More", expecting just another calming romance novel filled with drama. While the book was filled to the brim with dramatic plot, the latest stories were not ones of love for a sole mate, but love for one's child, one's husband, who both died in the same night, with the wife left behind. Tessa Leoni was a hard-working state trooper who had been through a lot. Sophie, her six-year old daughter, had been born without a known father, but that didn't stop Tessa from making Sophie her world. When things were at their lowest, a man named Brian Darby steps in as if on cue. The two marry, and everything appears to be better than ever, but could things somehow have gotten worse? All in one night, Tessa is left standing alone and defenseless. Her husband lies dead on the kitchen floor, and her daughter is nowhere in sight. D.D. Warren and Bobby Dodge are in charge of figuring out this seemingly straight-forward case, but things don't go as smoothly as one would suspect. Would a mother really kill her own husband? What about her own child? Tessa must use every ounce of training she has learned. No one may be trusted, and Tessa knows she must do everything in her power to prove who she really loves most. "Love You More" is an extremely fast-paced book. Although I expected a romance novel, I was happily surprised! Not only do you sympathize with characters, but whom you sympathize drastically changes throughout the entire novel. Trooper Leoni definitely knows what she's doing, but in order to find out whom it is she truly loves, and what exactly happened to her entire family all in one night, you will have to open the mystery case yourself.
jk40 More than 1 year ago
i loved the series...need more
j_ray More than 1 year ago
Terrific read, could not put down.
Ash50 More than 1 year ago
A very well thought out book if you like mystery you will love it. Hard to put down
pocosmomRD More than 1 year ago
I have read every one of Lisa Gardner's books. Being a New Englander, I love the familiar settings. But more important is she always takes you on a journey that has twists that stop you in your tracks. Love you more, is a bit slower journey but a delicious one that builds and builds. Enjoy the ride!
Anonymous 3 months ago
I completely loved this one!
Anonymous 8 months ago
Enjoyed this book I think every mom or dad would do everything they could to protect and go after their child if needed -----
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Great keeps you in suspense book
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I have read several of Lisa Garner's books, and this has to be one of my favorites! Lots of twists and turns. Things are sometimes very different from what your first impressions may tell you! I couldn't wait to finish it to put all of the pieces together.