Blazing Obsession by Dai Henley

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Blazing Obsession by Dai Henley

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A thriller which would have been good if it had given up where most other books would have done - but this one just goes on and gets even better. A great read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: October 2014
Publisher: Matador
ISBN: 978-1784620516

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When our story starts we know that events are going to be cruel to James Hamilton. We might be envious of his high-end car business, with multiple dealerships and (as we later find out) a home in one of the nicer parts of Blackheath, but a couple of years down the line he'll be visited in his office by two policemen who tell him that his holiday cottage went up in flames the previous night and there are three bodies in the shell of the building. James won't believe that he's lost his wife, Lynne, stepson Georgie and daughter Emily. He was going to leave shortly to join them, so obviously there had been a mistake...

But back to the beginning of the story. Lynne worked in one of the dealerships and she wasn't just great at sales. She was beautiful, great company and fun to be with. It wasn't long before workaholic James decided that she was the woman for him - but there was a problem. Lynne had always been let down by men and had been in an abusive marriage. There was a restraining order against her ex-husband but it was a chocolate fireguard and certainly didn't stop Nick Burrows from making Lynne's life a misery. He had regular access to his son and Lynne was worried about the outcome if he realised that she was seeing another man.

After the fire it's not long before the police stop consoling James and start interrogating him about the reason why the fire should have happened on the only occasion when Lynne and the children went to the cottage without him. James is in the awkward position of defending himself and trying to get justice for Lynne, Georgie and Emily. Everyone has secrets and before long James has the shock of finding out that Lynne hadn't been entirely honest (it sounds better than 'lied' doesn't it?) with him and that what she concealed could have given him a strong motive for murder.

This is a book with a big plot. By the time I was halfway through I'd read a story which would have been the whole of many another book - and been none the worse for that - but that's when Blazing Obsession really gets into its stride. Early in the book I thought I could see exactly where the plot was going but I only guessed a very small part of it and there were more twists than on an extra-large corkscrew. I finally stopped trying to second guess the plot and sat back and enjoyed the ride.

It must have been a first for me, but I actually found that I was thinking sympathetically about a car salesman - and one who drove a Merc to boot! He's a convincing character: obviously besotted with Lynne but with that hint of flashness when he's prepared to throw his money about if he thinks it will further his cause. Lynne's well drawn too, with a history of fathers (yes, that's right - fathers) who have deserted her and a tendency to slip into abusive relationships. You might think that it wouldn't be something you would allow to happen, but you can understand why she does. Even relatively minor characters are well drawn - Pat, the older secretary who talks sense to James and Georgie's reactions to all the changes in his life. It's great stuff and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you'd like to know more about Dai Henley then have a look at B Positive. If you're looking for a good thriller then we can recommend Daughter by Jane Shemilt and Acts of Omission by Terry Stiastny.

You can read more about Dai Henley here.

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Buy Blazing Obsession by Dai Henley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Blazing Obsession by Dai Henley at


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