Merrimon Book Reviews

Grand Central Station
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From Merrimon Book Reviews
Live to Tell
Live to Tell by Wendy Corsi Staub
by Wendy Corsi Staub

Awesome suspense!

At one time life seemed normal but Lauren Walsh's divorce changed everything.  She can no longer trust her instincts or the very things she once took for granted.  When her youngest daughter Sadie loses her stuffed animal, Lauren tries to reassure her, but the loss of her father has made Sadie more than insistent.  When Lauren calls her ex-husband Nick to search the lost and found at Grand Central Station, she demands he pay attention to their children's needs.  Lauren's actions set in motion a train of events that will change her life and that of everyone around her.  When her husband suddenly disappears, Lauren tries to reassure herself and her children, while not embarrassing herself before former friends and acquaintances.  As Lauren tries to find answers, forces she knows nothing about gather, endangering her family in ways she never could have imagined.  Outside, a dangerous man will do anything to preserve the secret he has guarded for years.   Will Lauren discover the truth in enough time?  In trying to protect one's family, how far is one willing to go?

Wendy Corsi Staub's LIVE TO TELL is an awesome work of suspense!  Well-plotted, well-imagined, and rich in emotional and character details, LIVE TO TELL takes an all too common scenario, divorce, and twists ideas of family trust and protection into a terrifying scenario.  LIVE TO TELL grabs from the very first pages as the reader enters Lauren's world.  The author captures perfectly Lauren's distrust and self-questioning following her divorce.  The awkwardness she experiences before others now, trying to appear strong while she becomes the subject of the gossip mill, at once makes a reader connect with her while also creating heightened tension as the reader understands more the stakes.  As Lauren's story unfolds, Wendy Corsi Staub alternates point of view, bringing the reader into the thoughts of those whose need for secrecy threaten Lauren and her children.  Most chilling of all are those sections when the author allows the reader a peek into the emotions and thoughts of the youngest child Sadie.  One empathizes with her while, at the same time, wanting to protect her.  Unlike Lauren, the reader knows the danger approaching but not the reason or all the interconnections until the very last page.   The ending is perfect!  Wendy Corsi Staub brings everything together at the end, yet also leaves the reader with a bone-chilling line, a line that makes this reader most anxious to read the next book, SCARED TO DEATH.

LIVE TO TELL satisfies a reader's craving for rich intricate suspense.  LIVE TO TELL is more than a quick action-packed race to the finish.  Each moment brings the reader more and more into Lauren's world, and the villain's, creating an intensifying, unnerving, thrilling reading experience.  The novel becomes richer and richer as it progresses with the gradual unveiling of the secret as the clock counts down.  LIVE TO TELL reminds this reader, an avid reader of suspense, of the power of the genre. 
LIVE TO TELL is several cuts above most of the suspense published today.  Simply outstanding!

Publisher:  Avon (February 23, 2010)
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Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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