UK Publishing Date: 14 Apr 2016. 464 pages
The Obsession is the latest of Nora Roberts’ standalone novels. Although marketed as a romantic suspense novel it is a tough one to describe. Think Criminal Minds meets Grand Designs set in Twilight country. I did warn you. It’s complicated.
Naomi Bowes is a couple of days away from her 12th birthday. Convinced that her father is heading out to check up on the bike that she is hoping to get for her birthday, she follows him out into the dark one night. What she discovers changes all of their lives. Her father, a local pastor, has been raping, torturing and murdering young women in an isolated cellar on the property. His latest abductee is a college student called Ashley and Naomi helps to rescue her and bring her father to justice.
Never able to settle anywhere as a result Naomi reverts to her mother’s maiden name and leads a fairly nomadic life as a photographer. Right up till she spots the abandoned house on the bluff that needs a lot of TLC and is far too big for her. It’s on the other side of the country from her remaining family and she has shown no previous desire to call anywhere home. Soon Xander, the local mechanic, and a stray dog are working their way into her solitary existence. It’s an idyllic lifestyle until Evil comes calling and she realises that she never truly escaped the darkness that engulfed her as a child.
This is a story that some people will find disturbing with recurring themes of rape, abduction and torture. Nothing that you can’t handle if you watch Criminal Minds but it is dark and disturbing. This book is a fairly slow burn in that it takes its time to get to the crux of the matter.
When I started properly thinking about it I had guessed who the unsub was about halfway through but it didn’t spoil the book for me and I preferred the steady progress of the house, the relationship and the exposé at the end.
Supplied by Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.