Friday, April 15, 2016

The Obsession, by Nora Roberts

Berkley Publishing Group, ISBN 9780399175169, April 2016

At not quite twelve, Naomi Bowes discovered her father was a serial killer, freed his latest victim, and triggered his arrest and prosecution.

Four years later, her mother, who has never recovered from her psychological dependence on Thomas Bowes, kills herself. Her mother's brother, Seth, and his partner Harry, give her and her younger brother Mason a secure and loving home, but Naomi carries her own, less obvious scars from her experiences. As an adult, her name legally changed from Bowes to Carson, she's been a nomadic professional photographer for years.

And then she buys a big, old house in a little town on the west coast.

It's in the quiet little town of Sunrise Cove, Washington. The view from her new home is astounding. And since the house is very much a fixer-upper, she's got a carpenter and his crew, and soon a landscaper and his crew, working on her new home.

And the owner of the local auto repair garage stops and helps her when she rescues a half-starved dog on the edge of the road. She's started, cautiously and reluctantly to make friends; Xander Keaton quickly becomes more than just a friend. She's doing great work, too, photographing nature and residents in Sunrise Cove, with sales both online and in a local shop.

But with everything looking up, the past catches up with her again. A local young woman disappears, and is found, tortured, abused, and quite dead, in very much the manner of Thomas Bowes.

This is an atmospheric tale, with great characters, and great relationship development. Naomi, Xander, their friends and neighbors, and Naomi's uncles, Seth and Harry, and her brother, Mason, are all real, interesting, and engaging.

Note for those who share my leanings in this matter: The dog does not die.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.