by Nora Roberts
Publishing Date: 14th April 2016
Source: Copy provided by the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 456
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Suspense
She changed her name. She changed her life. But someone won’t let her go. The brand-new novel of love, drama and hope from legendary Nora Roberts.
Naomi Carson is a survivor. As a child, her family was torn apart by a shocking crime. It could have destroyed her, but Naomi has grown up strong, with a passion for photography that has taken her all around the world.
Now, at last, she has decided to put down roots. The beautiful old house on Point Bluff needs work, but Naomi has new friends in town who are willing to help, including Xander Keaton – gorgeous, infuriating and determined to win her heart.
But as Naomi plans for the future, her past is catching up with her. Someone in town knows her terrifying secret – and won’t let her forget it. As her new home is rocked by violence, Naomi must discover her persecutor’s identity, before it’s too late.
I’ve started to read Nora Roberts’s books relatively recently but each of the novels that I’d read took me by surprise with their diversity, as the author really can write stories, no matter if it’s contemporary, thriller or dystopian – the book always makes sense and the stories keep you hooked. This time it was the same, I haven’t expected „The Obsession” to turn out like this, so the surprise element was there all right, though as much as it was a typical Nora Roberts’ novel, it was also very different – and it turned out to be a story of self – discovery with a splash of romance, a lovely dog and a lot of mystery.
The characters were really professionally drawn and deeply described and I liked them, though of course there came a moment that I felt paranoid and started to suspect almost each and every one. Now, in retrospection, it was maybe not obvious but relatively easy to guess and I figured it out rather quickly, even though later on I had one very fishy character and I was ready to bet everything on him (oh, I would SO love to tell you who it was, but NO. SPOILERS) but then bang, and it turned out it was someone else.
So as usual for Nora Roberts, „The Obsession” is a book full of secrets, betrayals and uncertainty but you’re also going to find there some more romantic and optimistic moments, and what I personally really liked was Naomi and the fact that she was strong enough not to hide and live in shadows of what happened before, but she found strength to find herself afresh, find idea for her life and just look ahead. She had a passion and she knew what she wanted to do in life. She was intelligent, just like any other character in this book and it made a great change to have strong and not fluffy characters. Sure, she couldn’t forget what happened, and I think it is totally normal, because who would forget something like this, but she tried, she tried hard not to think about it days and nights, and it was really brilliant to see how she was growing, developing, changing.
So now, we all know that Nora Roberts is an exquisite writer, but I had a feeling that she tries so very hard to prove it to us. I’ll be very honest with you, I’ve already put this book away thousand times because I thought I can’t anymore, and it happened already after few pages in, and only the awareness that I am reading it for a blog tour made me to take it in my hands again. Why? Because of the very, very, very descriptive writing. Don’t get me wrong, please, Ms Roberts’s writing is so eloquent, rich and captivating but sometimes less is more. I had a feeling that I am watching a film, not reading a book, and sure, of course the author must describe everything but there was not a single place left for my imagination. Each step, each sound, every broken sprig were there, described up till the smallest details and it just took much too long to get to the point. And of course, I understand we needed this introduction to understand Naomi and her further actions, but for me the first part of this novel could be really written as a little longer prologue, and as much as there happened a lot in this first part, the real life in this story started much, much later. Also, reading about the rape and torture, with all the details, were sometimes too much for me, all the more that we experience the things not only from Naomi’s point of view, but from the assassin’s too, and sure, I know it was important for the book, but it was just too much. I admit, I skimmed some of the passages, actually many of them, when it was all about what the „black character” was doing, thinking, planning, but also a lot on Naomi’s renovating her home, her passion with photography, which was great but – again – too much, too detailed, the nature, the garden, every dish on the table as I didn’t find it significant to the story, and probably this is what affected my reading and opinion about the book. Also, from the synopsis we know that after moving places there is something going to happen to Naomi, and sure, there was the tension, we knew something bad is coming, but the sudden appearance of the stalker was, well, strange. As much as I like mystery in the books, this time it took a little too long to the delivery, and again, there were so many things in between that only made me feel a little desperate, as I wanted to get to the end.
On the other hand, thanks to these descriptions, I almost felt like a part of the story. I could feel Naomi’s breath, I was scared to look over my shoulder and the fear, the feelings of confusion, misapprehensions were palpable and all of them felt so incredibly real, and Nora Roberts can for sure pass down the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.
Yes, I’m in two minds about this book, am a little torn and it is not my Nora Roberts’s favourite, but if you are for a romantic suspense mixed with mystery and thriller, then give this book a go. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, I just feel a little confused and in fact I’m not sure what I really feel, but it certainly didn’t put me off Nora Roberts and I am waiting for her new release already. „The Obsession” was for sure a book with a difference, about some really difficult matters, about many different issues, written in very hooking, descriptive, vivid way and the author brought everything: characters, feelings, events to life and I truly enjoyed it.
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