Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tenderness / by Robert Cormier

Every soul needs tenderness. Something still haunting Lori Cranston as she flees yet another of her mom's abusive boyfriends. Her desire for emotional intimacy now targets Eric Poole, a boy with whom she shares a strange history. Eric needs tenderness also; even with no capacity for feeling. Incarcerated five years for slaying his parents, he's now free to pursue the 'tenderness' he's been deprived of so long. But Detective Proctor knows--even if no one else does--that Eric is a monster, that his parents weren't his only victims, and it's only a matter of time before the next.

Chocolate War author Cormier sticks to his New England roots in this psychological thriller about two people linked by a twisted consciousness and a third monitoring their every move. The real clutch of this book is intuition, an awareness of each character's contribution to the story and the motives which propel their actions. Nowhere is this better seen than the author's depiction of Eric, a most unlikely teenage sociopath.

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