Sunday, July 17, 2011

carnal innocence

New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts provides a potent mix of small-town secrets, scandalous romance, and down-home Southern atmosphere as a young woman searching for some bayou R&R finds herself entangled in a serial killer’s wicked web. —   — Burned out and still reeling from a love affair gone bad, world-class violinist Caroline Waverly goes to her grandparents’ home in Innocence, Mississippi, for some much-needed rest and relaxation. Instead she finds herself overwhelmed all over again?first by Tucker Longstreet, a charming local with a sideline in no-strings-attached relationships, and then by a deadlier, more disturbing development.

For Innocence is being stalked by its very own serial killer, whose brutal knife blows have pierced the veil of tranquillity in this sleepy Southern town and left a trail of mutilated female corpses in their wake. When a federal agent arrives to investigate, the town’s deepest secrets bubble to the surface and suspicion turns on Tucker as the most likely suspect. After Caroline finds the latest murder victim floating in the murky waters behind her house, she too is inexorably drawn into the path of a crazed killer who may be closer than she could have ever imagined. 

Review: I am an avid Nora Roberts fan but this one was not one of my favorites and it was slow to start. It took me until i was almost halfway through the book before i really started to enjoy it. I have an I must always finish the book policy . Most of Nora's books i have given a rating of a 4 or higher but i just could not give this one better that a 3. It was one of her earlier works so that may be a factor but the story just seemed to drag on for a good portion of the book.
Besides the negative aspect i was able to relate with the characters. I was immediately drawn in by Tucker Longstreet, he plays one of the leads and is known around town as a ladies man and every woman pretty much wants to be with him. He is upfront on the fact that he does not want a commitment and when things get too dicey he leaves for greener pastures. He makes everyone think that he does nothing but hang around all day, drive fast cars and pick up women. don't let his easy going attitude fool you because behind the facade he presents is a hard working businessman who just does things in his own time.  He never wanted to have a commitment until Caroline, she does something to him and he tries to fights it but ultimately fails when he falls  and she owns his heart. 
Caroline Waverly, She comes back to Innocence to the only home she has ever know. Though he time spent her was brief as a child it was the one place that made her not feel like an outsider. She was the product of a mother who chose to disown her background and married into wealth. She was named after her paternal side, heaven forbid he mother actally acknowledge the parents that gave birth to her and worked to the bone so she could go to school which she left to marry into love and wealth, leaving her old world behind her. She was a child prodigy violinist , something that never made her happy but  did because she did not want to let her parents down. This became a familiar trend until she finally had a breakdown a few months before coming to innocence. She could no longer but what he parents wanted her to be, her mother was not the warmest of people though her father did make her feel loved. Tucker is the last thing she wants but it happens regardless. He is the first person to want to know Caroline the person not Caroline the child prodigy.

They had a reluctant start. Caroline kept pushing him away because she was not ready for a new relationship and Tucker was determined to have her. She had recently just got out of a relationship when she found her boyfriend cheating on her with one of the other members of the orchestra, he was the conductor .

Three women were found brutally murdered and they all had a connection to tucker but he wouldn't hurt a fly. 
The way the story progressed i always thought the killer was a man with a hatred for women  but i never suspected it to be a woman . There are subtle clues as the story progresses that could have hinted at it being a woman or one woman in particular.

  • A man would have over powered the women not knocked them out with a blunt object 
  • The killer provided Tucker with an Alibi while given herself one at the same time. 
  • Slept with 2 prime people on the case to gather information
Even with the information I still never pegged her but know that i went over the details , it certainly made sense. Which is superior though nature vs nurture. She claimed she was a bad seed because of her fathers DNA and there was something powerful compelling her to kill.  She grew up in a well off family and had everything she could have ever wanted. What creates a serial killer? are they to blame or is it something in their chemistry?
You will never know since the murder committed suicide when she admitted the truth.