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The Obsession


The Obsession

Gifted storyteller Nora Roberts has brought riveting, captivating and intricately woven stories to readers for 35 years. Her latest novel, THE OBSESSION, tells of a heroine who loses her childhood and her innocence when her father’s secret life is exposed, yet she goes on to find love and a home under unexpected circumstances.

On the eve of her 12th birthday, Naomi Bowes hopes that she will find the bicycle she wished for when she follows her father into the woods near their house in West Virginia. Instead, she comes across the cellar where he has imprisoned his latest victim of rape and torture. She rescues the young woman, and they both escape to inform the authorities. Her father is a serial killer. The life she knew is changed forever.

Naomi, her brother Mason, and her mother leave West Virginia and move to New York City to live with her mother’s brother and his husband. Trying to establish a new normal requires a continual, conscious effort to get past the ugly, horrendous nature of the past.

"Nora Roberts creates words that become pictures in a reader’s mind. The characters, setting and story will stay with you long after you finish the book."

Naomi’s fortune changes when she learns that photography sets her on a path to discover a newer, better, more challenging world through the camera lens. Selling her amazing images to stock photo vendors for websites and catalogs, Naomi earns her way as a freelance photographer. She and her cameras travel, eventually arriving in Sunrise Cove in Washington State.

Naomi is captivated by a 10-year-old empty house that has a charm all its own, so she buys it on a whim. In need of repair, it sits close to town and has an impressive view. Kevin, the local contractor, shares her vision of what the house can become. As she works on the remodels, Naomi knows her life is changing. She rescues a dog that she appropriately names Tag; he follows her everywhere. An old buddy of Kevin’s, Xander Keaton, runs the local garage, plays in a band and has a remarkable book collection. Xander takes more than a casual interest in Naomi.

Is this a place in which Naomi can finally find peace? Make friends? Call her own? Are the feelings she has for Xander reciprocated? Are they long-lasting?

Unfortunately, this feeling of contentment is the lull before the storm. One morning, while taking pictures on a walk with her dog, Naomi finds the body of a young woman who had recently disappeared from town. She has been murdered. There is no chance now that her past will not intrude on her newfound life and friends. Soon it will be public knowledge in Sunrise Cove that she is the daughter of a serial killer. Naomi fervently hopes that her sense of home and place will sustain her. When Mason, now an FBI agent, becomes entangled with the case, is her life in danger as well? Whatever happens, Naomi knows that she has been a victim of circumstances, but she will not be a victim in life.

Nora Roberts creates words that become pictures in a reader’s mind. The characters, setting and story will stay with you long after you finish the book. As Naomi says, “They’re not so different words and pictures, both freeze moments, both stay with you long after the moment’s over.” The same can be said about THE OBSESSION.

Reviewed by Jennifer McCord on April 15, 2016

The Obsession
by Nora Roberts