Tenderness Study Guide


Tenderness by Robert Cormier

Eric Poole is a convicted teenage serial killer. Lorelei "Lori" Cranston is a troubled 15-year-old girl.

As a little boy in New England, Eric Poole already exhibited symptoms of a sociopath. He was suspected of murdering several young girls, but also murdered his mother and stepfather, and was convicted for those deaths. He convinced investigators that he killed his guardians out of self-defense with a false story of abuse.

Lori is described as a beautiful girl with a very mature body at a young age. Consequently she must constantly deal with the wanted and unwanted sexual attention she receives from men. She has a tendency to fixate of men, and will pursue them until she has put her mouth on theirs.

Detective Jake Proctor always suspected that Eric was guilty of killing the other girls and had fabricated the abuse story. He is determined to prove that Eric is a serial killer.

At 18, Eric is released from the juvenile detention center he has been held in and immediately starts looking for a new victim. Lori sees him on TV, fixates on him, and runs away from home to find him while Detective Proctor begins setting a trap to catch Eric before he can kill again.

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