The Obsession by Nora Roberts

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The Obsession by Nora Roberts

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Category: Crime
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Ani Johnson
Reviewed by Ani Johnson
Summary: A thriller/love story with satisfying heights in both departments while looking at serial murder from a different viewpoint. What's it like to be the murderer's family?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 544 Date: May 2017
Publisher: Piatkus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0349407784

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Naomi Carson lives in New York but she hasn't always lived there. Actually her name hasn't always been Naomi Carson. Naomi's life had to start again when, aged 11, she sneakily followed her father into the woods to see if he was hiding her birthday present. That night she saw something no child… no person... should see. As an adult, she's now putting her life back together and even coping with the advances of Xander Keaton but danger still lurks. The past will one day repeat itself and this time Naomi will find she's the target.

Nora Roberts is certainly a prolific author. Taking an average 45 days to write a book she's produced around 70 novels under her own name without counting the crime novels she's written as J D Robb. We'd perhaps expect the quality to fluctuate but high output doesn't necessarily mean low quality, as this particular book is here to prove.

Nora is the expert when it comes to meshing love and suspense, using the two here to great effect. The first quarter of the novel is full of fear and a crime that includes passing moments for those with a squeamish disposition to skip over. Then the fear recedes and we slide into a will they/won't they love story that coincides with life-improving for Naomi... but will it last?

Naomi deserves a better life, along with that warm cuddly feeling but we know from the blurb it's not going to stay that way. Indeed things may be better but we see the Damoclesan sword which makes us wonder if she'll get out of the story alive.

There's so much more to The Obsession than this though. Woven through the plot is a really interesting psychology-lite study of a serial murderer's family, proving Nora's someone who does her research.

I loved the suspense and adored the love story but the differing reactions of the family were the most interesting part for me. Naomi's plan is to shut the past in a box – new life, a new persona, and move on. However, she doesn't realise that the box has no key and the contents will ambush her at unexpected moments.

Naomi's little brother Mason chooses to face things full-on, reflected in his chosen career which provides us with even more insight.

Finally, there's their mother who, understandably, finds it more difficult to take or even believe the events of that night and what had gone before. The man she'd married wasn't perfect but he wasn't this guy on the police records… was he?

Each of the three's reactions and resulting choices ring with authenticity and in one particular case, a poignant reality from which we can't turn away.

As for Naomi's wonderful uncles, I spent the entire book wanting to hug them. They're the ones who take in the family, wanting to make it alright without realising the depth of what they're taking on.

The thrills, the scares, the loved-up doe eyes and a climax with the capacity to bring the story to a horrific conclusion – this novel has it all, adding up to repeat read material. I'm sure I'll feel the same each time I go back to the story to remind myself of what became of the little girl who just wanted a bike for her birthday.

(Thank you, Piatkus, for providing us with a copy for review.)

Further Reading: If this appeals and you'd like to try more Nora, we also recommend the more fanciful but just as good Stars of Fortune. If you're already a fan and would like another love/crime blend author, try The Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell. We can also recommend Come Sundown by Nora Roberts.

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Buy The Obsession by Nora Roberts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Obsession by Nora Roberts at


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