Monday, February 2, 2015

Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts
Narrated by Tom Stechschulte

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.

Published & Release Date: Bantam, Reprint Edition, August 26, 2009

Time and setting: Innocence, Mississippi 

Genre: Romantic suspense/Mystery/Thriller

Heat Level: 2

Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns

Vikki’s Musings

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Carnal Innocence. I am not a huge Nora Roberts fan normally and have not read many of her many books, but I am so glad I took a chance on this one. It has a bit of everything. Murder and mayhem runs amok from the first page to the last, keeping me on the edge of my seat as I drive down the road, cook dinner, etc. That’s why I love Audio books; they allow me to do other things while listening. Audio books make mundane tasks bearable. If you have not tried them, then you might want to.

Innocence, Mississippi is a small southern town where life is slow and easy, but a murderer is in town, killing women known for sharing their favors, in a most brutal way. With so much evil hanging over the town, this might not be the best time for a stranger to arrive looking for a slow peaceful kind of life.

Caroline Waverly arrives in Innocence to gain some calm in her life and regroup on her deceased grandparent’s property which now belongs to her. She has recently suffered the betrayal of her fiancĂ©e, which leads her to somewhat of a mental breakdown. Between the break up and exhaustion from touring all over the world performing as a concert violinist, she needs some down time desperately. The last thing she wants or needs is a man in her life. Her first brush with Tucker Longstreet does not go well, yet she cannot deny the physical attraction she feels for the reckless, arrogant fool.

Tucker Longstreet is the epitome of a southern gentleman, apparently living a life long dead. He and his brother and sister own Sweetwater, a huge plantation where they still grow cotton. However, Tucker has diversified and owns numerous profitable businesses where keeps his finger on the pulse without appearing to do any work. When he meets Caroline at the pond on her property, he feels more desire for her than he has ever felt before.

When Caroline and Tucker are thrown together when the dead body of his ex-girlfriend is found by the pond, and she sees a different side to Tucker. With Tucker under suspicion of murder and Caroline afraid of having her heart crushed yet again, their romance moves slowly. Nonetheless, as they try to figure out who the real murderer is, they give into their passion. Can they find their way into each other’s arms, or will the startling revelations pull them apart?

This is one incredibly intense, action-packed, suspense novel, set in a location where time pretty much stands still, so the setting is not where one would expect to find a serial killer running amok, but that is exactly what is happening. Suspicion moves from one character to the other at such a fast pace it is enough to make one’s head spin. I never expected to get into this book, since it is not my typical read, but I certainly did. Ms. Roberts spins a tale so suspenseful, it had me sitting in my car, not wanting to stop listening to go into work!

Tom Stechschulte brings all the characters to brilliant life. I am amazed at his ability to portray the female and children’s voices so well. There is a huge cast of characters in this story, yet he is able to make each character sound different and easily recognizable. He delivers the long southern drawl of Tucker Longstreet with a great deal of finesse. His slow, smooth manner of speech keeps the book moving along, pulling me into the story. I will definitely be looking for more books narrated by Mr. Stechschulte. I think that for contemporary suspense novels and westerns, a male voice may very well work better, especially when the hero’s point of view is a major part of the story.

If you are looking for a thriller with very strong romantic elements, then this is a book you cannot miss. From the first page to the last it will hold you in its thrall. I am certain you will find it as mesmerizing as I have. Happy reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment