Monday, September 27, 2010


Pages: 385
Date: 27/09/2010
Grade: 4.5
Details: no. 4 D.D. Warren

Three women, all very different yet tied into the same nightmare.
Police Detective D.D. Warren is called out one night to a horrific murder scene. Four members of a family have been murdered in their house. The father, and possible suspect, is clinging to life in hospital. The case appears straight forward enough, yet D.D. Warren can't escape the feeling that things are anything but simple.
Danielle Burton was the only survivor when her drunken father shot the rest of her family and himself when she was only 9. Now, 25 years later she's clinging to her anger and facing a meltdown every year on the anniversary of the disaster, which is only a few days away.
The only thing in her life that gives her satisfaction is her work as a nurse with severely disturbed children in a locked down ward in a hospital.
Victoria Oliver is the mother of one such disturbed child. Her eight year old son Evan goes from adorable and funny to violent and dangerous without any obvious reason or warning. Victoria's need to look after her son herself has cost her her marriage and regular contact with her daughter, and with her son threatening to kill her, she's not sure she'll be able to keep this up much longer.
When a second family is slaughtered and kids in both families are linked to Danielle's ward the investigation at last has something to focus on. 
Yet, events have to come to a violent climax before the killer and their reasons become clear.
A good thriller and a fascinating story. Only two things stopped me from marking this book a 5:
I had the murderer figured out the moment (s)he was introduced into the story;
I found it hard to read about children with the problems the kids in this book were having. The fact that I know these issues are very real didn't make it any easier. 
However,I do have to compliment Mrs. Gardner on her research and on the sensitive yet realistic way in which she dealt with these kids, their problems and their families. It opened my eyes to a problem I had never really given any thought to.

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