This is not an ordinary love story. It is action-filled right from the beginning when a female state trooper gets home and finds herself in a deadly confrontation. The love story of this book is in the true love that State Trooper Tessa Leoni has for her missing 6 year old as she vows to find her daughter no matter what it takes, even murder. The reader is given hints about Tessa's actual situation in the prologue, but it isn't until halfway through the book that it becomes clear whether she is the victim or the accused. Detective D. D. Warren and her partner, Bobby Dodge are assigned to investigate the murder of Tessa's husband and the disappearance of her daughter, Sophie. D. D. takes an immediate dislike to Tessa, convinced that she murdered both her husband and daughter. Bobby is a little less suspicious of Tessa, but as the case proceeds, more and more evidence points to her guilt. Even the most astute armchair detective will be surprised at the unusual plot developments that occur as Bobby and D.D. search for Tessa and Tessa pursues a murderous path, searching for her daughter. She always seem to be one step ahead of the Boston homicide detectives who consider her guilty of everything.
D.D. Warren, the no nonsense detective of previous Gardner mysteries takes on an added dimension in this novel as she deals with personal circumstances that make it especially difficult for her to investigate the possible murder of a child by its mother. Partnered with her ex-lover for this case, she finds her private struggle both more awkward and more intimate than it might be if observed by a partner who doesn't know her so well. Told in alternating chapters from the third person point of view and from Tessa's, the reader is privy to both Tessa's emotions and the impact her actions have on the detectives who are pursuing her. Using two gifted readers, Kristen Potter and Katie MacNichol, to narrate the opposing viewpoints gives the audio book an appealing theatrical quality.
Complex personal relationships, betrayal and the power of maternal love are dominant themes in this spell-binding thriller. As Tessa and the detectives were warned during police training to "never assume anything," readers would be wise to do the same. Gardner skillfully combines complex plot elements with honorable, but flawed characters who keep the reader rooting for their eventual triumphs. Love You More is an entertaining and thoughtful look at the limitless power of love, for both good and evil. Highly recommended.
Love You More by Lisa Gardner
Read by Kirsten Potter and Katie MacNichol
Random House Audio, unabridged: 12 hours on 10 CDs