Archive for April 26th, 2013

Pediatric psychiatry and mass murder intersect in Lisa Gardner mystery ‘Live to Tell’

April 26, 2013

Boston Police Sgt. D.D. Watson is on a date one hot August night when she’s called to a three-story house in the working-class neighborhood of Dorchester. The home’s five residents have been brutally attacked. Four are dead, including the children; the father dies at the hospital.

The next day, Watson is summoned to a vermin-infested house in Jamaica Plains on the other side of town. Again, everyone here — a man, a woman and four children ranging in age from adolescence to infancy — has been slaughtered.

These two cases in Lisa Gardner’s 2010 novel, Live to Tell, initially seem to have little in common. But it soon emerges that children from both families spent time at the same acute-care psychiatric ward.

The ward employs Danielle, a psychiatric nurse. She’s spent most of her life thinking of herself as a victim after her father killed his wife, his two other children and himself while sparing her. Co-worker Greg, a tall, athletic man easily capable of inflicting the knife wounds found in the corpses, has a similarly tragic past; he has also surreptitiously, and suspiciously, been working with families of the clinic’s patients. And the clinic is frequently visited by Andrew, a charismatic new age healer who turns out to have a secret or two of his own.  Read the rest of this entry »

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