Who do you love? This theme introduces a brave, sometimes tough character named Tessa Leoni, whose husband Brian Darby has just been murdered, and whose six-year-old daughter Sophie is now missing.
D. D. Warren, Boston PD, and State Trooper Bobby Dodge, her former lover, are on the case—Because Tessa Leoni is also a State Trooper, and there’s a lot about her story that seems questionable.
She says that she killed her husband in self-defense. And she does have the horrific bruises that seem to substantiate this claim, but so much about the time line and other issues don’t quite add up.
Alternating chapters bring the story to us, with first person narrator Tessa revealing snippets of her life with Sophie and the marriage to Brian. We get to see moments of pure happiness, followed by problems. Much about these problems will only come to light as we quickly turn the pages, wondering what will happen next.
Because Tessa is charged with first degree murder anyhow, everything rapidly becomes more intense. What will Tessa do now? Is she really guilty of something terrible? Maybe she killed her husband and her daughter. How does a teenage incident involving a suspicious death tie in to what is happening now? And what do these events reveal about the kind of person Tessa really is?
Just when I thought that I had the answers, everything would turn upside down, and new clues would lead in other directions. Toward the end, the conspiratorial aspects had me going “a-ha,” but I didn’t guess the final answers until the very end.
Colorful, dramatic plots and subplots, and real, very human and flawed characters populated Love You More: A Novel, giving me the satisfying read that I’ve come to expect from Gardner. Five stars.