Cover image for Carnal innocence
Title:
Carnal innocence
Author:
Roberts, Nora.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Bantam Books, [1999].

©1991
Physical Description:
391 pages ; 25 cm
Summary:
In the small town of Innocence, Mississippi, days are long, nights are fragrant, and secrets are hard to keep. But when a brutal killer starts claiming the lives of the town's most attractive women, lifelong neighbors are forced to wonder if the culprit is a stranger lurking in the bayou ... or someone right next door.
Language:
English
Subject Term:
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780553110944

9780553386431
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Nora Roberts, bestselling author ofThe ReefandGenuine Lies, mixes scorching passion with icy suspense in her classic novel of murder and infatuation in a southern town--now available in hardcover for the first time. In the small town of Innocence, Mississippi, days are long, nights are fragrant, and secrets are hard to keep. But when a brutal killer starts claiming the lives of the town's most attractive women, lifelong neighbors are forced to wonder if the culprit is a stranger lurking in the bayou...or someone right next door. World-famous concert violinist Caroline Waverly knows nothing of the murders when she arrives in Innocence. Burned out from a childhood lost to endless rehearsals and an all-too-public breakup with the conductor who was her lover, Caroline is looking for a little peace and some time to think. She hopes that a stay at her late grandmother's house--the one with a covered porch just made for soft summer nights--will provide the tranquillity she needs. But Innocence has something else to offer Caroline: a man named Tucker Longstreet. Blessed with the Longstreet good looks, lazy charm, and family fortune, Tucker is a tall, cool drink of water--and he knows it. He likes to keep his romances short and shallow. But one look at Caroline, and Tucker realizes that she is unlike any other woman he's met. Tightly coiled and coolly reserved, Caroline is determined to fight him off. She might be able to do a better job if she hadn't felt an unexpected thrill at his ardent advances...and if she hadn't been so scared after finding a third murder victim in the murky waters behind her home. For Caroline Waverly, a beautiful summer interlude could turn into much more--or could stir a killer's crazed dreams. Because there's just one small problem with her new romance: Tucker is the leading suspect in the killings.


Author Notes

Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland on October 10, 1950. Her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published in 1981. Since then, she has written more than 150 novels. She writes romances under her own name including Montana Sky, Blue Smoke, Carolina Moon, The Search, Chasing Fire, The Witness, The Perfect Hope, Inner Harbor, Dark Witch, Shadow Spell, The Collector, The Villa, The Liar, and The Obsession. She writes crime novels under the pseudonym of J. D. Robb including the In Death series. She has been given the Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award and has been inducted into their Hall of Fame.

(Bowker Author Biography) Nora Roberts is the author of nearly 140 novels, including several #1"New York Times" bestsellers, with more than 106 million copies of her books in print. She lives in Maryland.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Roberts ( Genuine Lies ) plunks a pair of likable lovers into an equally likable rural Southern community; she then keeps the story from turning sweeter than blackstrap molasses by setting loose a serial killer. World-class violinist Caroline Waverly, recovering from a breakdown and an affair gone bad, arrives at her grandparents' house in Innocence, Miss., looking for peace and quiet; what she discovers is the naked, mutilated corpse of Edda Lou Hatinger. Only days earlier, Edda Lou had thrilled local gossips by publicly blowing up at Tucker Longstreet: he wanted out of their affair; she wanted marriage. Edda Lou is the third woman stabbed to death recently, so local police call in Matthew Burns, a federal investigator who specializes in tracking serial killers. In the meantime, Tucker decides to be right neighborly to Caroline, and after her initial resistance crumbles, she responds to his Southern charm. Tucker is on Matthew's list of suspects, and soon a fourth dead woman is found on the Longstreet family property. Caroline, too, faces the knife as she is drawn into a confrontation in which she learns who is behind the deaths. (Jan. ) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Originally published in 1992, Roberts's tale of a classical violinist, wounded in love, who returns to her hometown and a dangerous affair, is in hardcover for the first time. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Summer, that vicious green bitch, flexed her sweaty muscles and flattened Innocence, Mississippi. It didn't take much. Even before the War Between the States, Innocence had been nothing but a dusty fly-speck on the map. Though the soil was good for farming--if a man could stand the watery heat, the floods, and the capricious droughts--Innocence wasn't destined to prosper. When the railroad tracks were laid, they had stretched far enough to the north and west to tease Innocence with those long, echoing whistles of pace and progress without bringing either home. The interstate, dug through the delta nearly a century after the tracks, veered away, linking Memphis to Jackson, and leaving Innocence in the dust. It had no battlefields, no natural wonders to draw in tourists with cameras and cash. No hotel to pamper them, only a small, painfully neat rooming house run by the Koonses. Sweetwater, its single antebellum plantation, was privately owned by the Longstreets, as it had been for two hundred years. It wasn't open to the public, had the public been interested. Sweetwater had been written up once in Southern Homes. But that had been in the eighties, when Madeline Longstreet was alive. Now that she and her tosspot, skinflint of a husband were both gone, the house was owned and inhabited by their three children. Together, they pretty nearly owned the town, but they didn't do much about it. It could be said--and was--that the three Longstreet heirs had inherited all of their family's wild good looks and none of their ambition. It was hard to resent them, if the people in that sleepy delta town had churned up the energy for resentment. Along with dark hair, golden eyes, and good bones, the Longstreets could charm a coon out of a tree quicker than you could spit. Nobody blamed Dwayne overmuch for following in his daddy's alcoholic footsteps. And if he crashed up his car from time to time, or wrecked a few tables in McGreedy's Tavern, he always made smooth amends when he was sober. Though as years went on, he was sober less and less. Everyone said it might have been different if he hadn't flunked out of the fancy prep school he'd been shipped off to. Or if he'd inherited his father's touch with the land, along with the old man's taste for sour mash. Others, less kind, claimed that money could keep him in his fancy house and in his fancy cars, but it couldn't buy him a backbone.  When Dwayne had gotten Sissy Koons in trouble back in '84, he'd married her without a grumble. And when, two kids and numerous bottles of sour mash later, Sissy had demanded a divorce, he'd ended the marriage just as amiably. No hard feelings--no feelings at all--and Sissy had run off to Nashville with the kids to live with a shoe salesman who wanted to be the next Waylon Jennings. Josie Longstreet, the only daughter and youngest child, had been married twice in her thirty-one years. Both unions had been short-lived but had provided the people of Innocence with endless grist for the gossip mill. She regretted both experiences in the same way a woman might regret finding her first gray hairs. There was some anger, some bitterness, some fear. Then it was all covered over. Out of sight, out of mind. A woman didn't intend to go gray any more than a woman intended to divorce once she'd said "till death do us part." But things happened. As Josie was fond of saying philosophically to Crystal, her bosom friend and owner of the Style Rite Beauty Emporium, she liked to make up for these two errors in judgment by testing out all the men from Innocence to the Tennessee border. Josie knew there were some tight-lipped old biddies who liked to whisper behind their hands that Josie Longstreet was no better than she had to be. But there were men who smiled into the dark and knew she was a hell of a lot better than that. Tucker Longstreet enjoyed women, perhaps not with the abandon his baby sister enjoyed men, but he'd had his share. He was known to tip back a glass, too--though not with the unquenchable thirst of his older brother. For Tucker, life was a long, lazy road. He didn't mind walking it as long as he could do so at his own pace. He was affable about detours, providing he could negotiate back to his chosen destination. So far he'd avoided a trip to the altar--his siblings' experiences having given him a mild distaste for it. He much preferred walking his road unencumbered. He was easygoing and well-liked by most. The fact that he'd been born rich might have stuck in a few craws, but he didn't flaunt it much. And he had a boundless generosity that endeared him to people. A man knew if he needed a loan, he could call on old Tuck. The money would be there, without any of the sticky smugness that made it hard to take. Of course, there would always be some who muttered that it was easy for a man to lend money when he had more than enough. But that didn't change the color of the bills. Unlike his father, Beau, Tucker didn't compound the interest daily or lock in his desk drawer a little leather book filled with the names of the people who owed him. Who would keep owing him until they plowed themselves under instead of their fields. Tucker kept the interest to a reasonable ten percent. The names and figures were all inside his clever and often underestimated mind. In any case, he didn't do it for the money. Tucker rarely did anything for money. He did it first because it was effortless, and second because inside his rangy and agreeably lazy body beat a generous and sometimes guilty heart.  He'd done nothing to earn his good fortune, which made it the simplest thing in the world to squander it away. Tucker's feelings on this ranged from yawning acceptance to an occasional tug of social conscience. Whenever the conscience tugged too hard, he would stretch himself out in the rope hammock in the shade of the spreading live oak, tip a hat down over his eyes, and sip a cold one until the discomfort passed. Which was exactly what he was doing when Della Duncan, the Longstreet's housekeeper of thirty-some years, stuck her round head out of a second-floor window. "Tucker Longstreet!" Hoping for the best, Tucker kept his eyes shut and let the hammock sway. He was balancing a bottle of Dixie beer on his flat, naked belly, one hand linked loosely around the glass. "Tucker Longstreet!" Della's booming voice sent birds scattering up from the branches of the tree. Tucker considered that a shame, as he'd enjoyed dreaming to their piping song and the droning counterpoint of the bees courting the gardenias. "I'm talking to you, boy." With a sigh, Tucker opened his eyes. Through the loose weave of his planter's hat, the sun streamed white and hot. It was true that he paid Della's salary, but when a woman had diapered your bottom as well as walloped it, you were never in authority over her. Reluctantly, Tucker tipped the hat back and squinted in the direction of her voice. Excerpted from Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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