cover image Obsession


Karen Robards, . . Putnam, $24.95 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-399-15416-4

Bestselling Robards (Vanished , Superstition , etc.) adds psychological spice to a familiar love-on-the-run plot. While FBI Special Crimes Unit agent Nick Houston goes undercover to track down the drug dealers who killed his sister, ski-masked burglars break into the Alexandria, Va., townhouse shared by Katharine Lawrence, special assistant to the CIA deputy director of operations, and her boyfriend/boss Ed Barnes. The intruders kill Katharine's friend Lisa and almost kill Katharine, who cannot convince them she doesn't know the location of the safe they came to rob. Despite wounds and a concussion, Katharine flees into the arms of good-looking neighbor Dr. Dan Howard, who drives her to the hospital where she wakes up unsure of her memory or who she is. Not knowing which of her protectors she can trust, questioning clues that don't make sense, unfamiliar even with her own face and figure, Katharine has nothing to go on but her instinct, which tells her to run. Nick, meanwhile, reveals his true identity (to Katharine's surprise but not to readers') just in the nick of time. A page-turner that moves too fast to dot every plot-related i, Robards's 23rd novel again spins satisfaction out of appealing characters who fall in love and bad guys who get justice. (Apr.)