As I sat down to write this post, it occurred to me that this is my fifth post reviewing a Nora Roberts/JD Robb novel. In order to make it easier for other fans of her to find my reviews of her books, I have added a tag — “Nora Roberts” — to collect all of those reviews in one place. Look for it on the right hand side of the blog’s main page.
In The Obsession, Roberts brings us an interesting story-line and a great locale (rainy, wooded, coastal Washington state) but unfortunately the characters and the plot basics feel recycled and a bit flat. Once again, Roberts writes a main character who is an outsider who moves to a small town to escape her past, only to be pulled deeply into small-town life by new friends and a juicy love interest. Girl resists, boy pursues, friends pry, and the secrets she tries to keep hidden emerge. In a noted departure from her early books, Roberts romance novels of late seem to focus on the domesticity of relationships more than just the steamy passion. While there are still some steamy scenes, there are also more pedestrian discussions of dating; the complexities of blending of two lives; the complications of adult relationships specifically how the two characters balance privacy and intimacy. (Also familiar to devoted Roberts fans, are lengthy descriptions of a house remodel: complete with discussions of paint colors and shopping for antiques…perhaps interesting in a non-fiction book, or even as a sub-sub plot, but too much of a focus for a thriller.)
In The Obsession, the main character, Naomi, is the adult daughter of an infamous serial killer who helped free one of his victims and put him in prison for life at the tender age of twelve. She has spent the rest of her life running from the horrors of her past; the press who hound her family; and her own sense of being tainted by her father’s insanity. Upon arriving in Sunrise Cove, Washington Naomi finds and falls in love with an abandoned cliff-side mansion and she decides to make her it her home.
Just as she begins to feel at home, making friends and dating the sexy mechanic Xander, young girls in town start going missing in crimes that are alarmingly similar to those her father perpetrated years before. Naomi is poised to leave everything she has built in her new town, desperately hoping that doing so will keep the man responsible for the disappearances away from her newly found loved ones. Xander and her other friends in Sunrise Cove convince her to stay and face her fears.
As always, even a less than perfect Nora Roberts is worth a read in my opinion and The Obsession is no exception.