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

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

4.0 671
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 . .

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

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.)
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

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781409101062
Publisher:
Orion
Publication date:
07/28/2011
Series:
Detective D. D. Warren Series, #5

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

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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

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