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Carolina Moon

by Nora Roberts

Library Journal Roberts has firmly established herself as one of the major stars of the romance genre, yet this novel is darker, more serious, and more pensive than most of her previous work. It's the story of Tory Bodeen, a young woman haunted by the murder of her childhood friend years ago. Tory's own childhood suffered from a deplorable lack of love and kindness. At the mercy of her ruthless father, who routinely beat her, Tory found brief solace with her friend Hope Lavelle. After Hope's unsolved murder, Tory grew up, left home, worked hard, and now financially independent has returned to her birthplace to open a small gift shop and try to put the memories of the past to rest. When another young woman in the town is brutally murdered, Tory realizes her premonition that the killer is still at large is horrifyingly true. Although Tory's romance with Hope's brother, Cade, takes second place to the childhood grief and trauma that imbue the plot with atmosphere and foreboding, fans are unlikely to be disappointed. Roberts develops her many characters thoughtfully, builds suspense, and gives readers a satisfying if somewhat surprising ending. Essential for public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/99.]--Margaret Ann Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly 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. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Tory's only hope throughout a desolate childhood was her friend HopeÄwho was brutally murdered. Years later, when she finds herself falling for Hope's older brother, the killer starts stalking again. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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