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.
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.