Publisher: Berkley, April 2016
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The riveting new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Liar.
Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous.
Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.
Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.
Naomi Carson has been running from her past for so long that it feels like second nature. She’s actually rather proud of her self-imposed hermit status, thank you very much, but…when she spots the rambling old house overlooking the small town of Sunrise Cove, something in it calls to her. Something that tells her she’s finally home.
To put it simply, I became obsessed with Roberts’ The Obsession. Naomi’s dark childhood as the daughter of infamous serial killer Thomas Bowes created a need to find a secure home, and even though her uncles do their best to provide one for her and her brother, Mason, Naomi’s history creates a character that I fell in love with.
The opening chapters of the novel are chilling and definitely the highlight. The dark, gloomy atmosphere as Naomi follows her father out into the forest that fateful night, the struggle as she and Mason try to rebuild their lives, the heartbreak as their mother fails to. It was emotionally wrenching, draining, and absolutely fabulous.
Yet the story in the present was hit and miss. I loved Xander from the start, although I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from him (he isn’t Roberts’ typical character), but Naomi was iffy. As their relationship grew deeper, the more often Naomi just fell flat. She was occasionally propped up by Xander’s character and, with all of the crazy situations the plot threw at her, it was hard to get a good read on her character.
Even with the character flaw, the actual obsession of the novel’s namesake was so chilling. The disappearances combined with the creepy narrative of the killer left me with chills and the mad urge to make sure all of the doors and windows were locked.
The changing narrative, from Naomi to Xander to the killer, kept The Obsession moving at a rapid pace and kept me hooked. I loved how Roberts built the atmosphere and narrative from the past and carried it into the present day. It connected the past and present, hinting at a hope of happily ever after at the future.
Despite Naomi’s occasional flatness, The Obsession is simply a must read. It’s a return to Roberts’ older works, the fantastic romantic suspense I’ve come to know and love.