#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts presents a novel of redemption and suspense, as a woman haunted by the unsolved murder of her childhood friend returns to her small South Carolina hometown. . . .
Tory Bodeen grew up in a run-down house where her father ruled with an iron fist and a leather belt—and where her dreams and talents had no room to flourish. Her one escape was her neighbor Hope, who lived in the big house just a short skip away, and whose friendship allowed Tory to be something she wasn’t allowed to be at home: a child.
Then Hope was brutally murdered, and everything fell apart.
Now, as she returns to Progress with plans to settle in and open a stylish home-design shop, Tory is determined to find a measure of peace and free herself from the haunting visions of the past. As she forges a new bond with Cade Lavelle—Hope’s older brother and the heir to the family fortune—she isn’t sure whether the tragic loss they share will unite them or drive them apart. But she is willing to open her heart, just a little, and try.
But living so close to those unhappy memories will be more difficult and frightening than Tory could ever have expected. Because Hope’s murderer is nearby as well. . . .
“Roberts may have achieved her personal best in this tense Southern Gothic. As atmospheric and unsettling as a Tennessee Williams play. . . . This is romantic drama at its best.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Doyenne of the bestseller lists, Roberts (River's End) may have achieved her personal best in this tense Southern gothic. As atmospheric and unsettling as a Tennessee Williams play, the story takes us into the gifted mind and troubled soul of visionary Tory Bodeen, whose childhood in Progress, S.C., was marked by her father's beatings, her mother's passivity and, when she was eight, the rape and strangulation of her best friend, Hope Lavelle. Now 26, still haunted by Hope's unsolved murder and memories of an unsettling experience in New York City, to which she fled at age 18, Tory returns to Progress after a quiet four-year stint in Charleston. Although profoundly ambivalent about her psychic ability to connect with other minds, she knows she'll never find peace until she uses her unsettling skill to find the murderer. And by opening a shop full of beautiful objects, she wants to show Progress that she's more than the bruised spawn of despicable Hannibal and Sarabeth Bodeen. She doesn't reckon on being swept off her feet by Hope's older brother, Cade, or by making an enemy and then a fine friend of Hope's twin, Faith. Nor could she have imagined that she would stumble on a chain of past murders seemingly linked to Hope's death. The mystery heats up as a wave of new murders sweeps Progress, but the increasingly intricate plot developments never overwhelm the human element. Roberts--again like Williams- seems disgusted only by unkindness; she treats most of her big cast with affection and compassion for their foibles. Cade doesn't yield an inch to his mother's snobbish contempt for Tory, and the complicated Tory is allowed to hate her own mother and wish her father a painful death: there are no saccharine reconciliations here. Even when a few over-the-top sex scenes and hackneyed phrasings slip in, Roberts's witty dialogue and moody descriptions soon counteract them. This is romantic drama at its best. 400,000 first printing; Literary Guild Main selection; author tour.
Love, love, love mysteries. Pretty good at solving them usually by 1/2 way through the book. Thought I had this one completely wrapped up 1/2 way through this book too. I couldn't have been more wrong. Completely shocked by the end. Awesome writing! Kudos to Nora Roberts for keeping the reader on the edge, even though the reader thinks they have this story in the bag.
Best book to read on a cold extended weekend with a cozy blanket and a steaming cup in the other hand. Definitely is a page turner that held my attention and curiosity from cover to cover. I am a Nora Roberts fan, and this is definitely one of her best!
This is my all time favorite book by Nora Roberts. I've just completed it for the 3rd time and know I will read it again.