cover image The Obsession

The Obsession

Nora Roberts. Berkley, $28 (464p) ISBN 978-0-399-17516-9

Romance queen Roberts entices readers with a winning tale in which a woman tries to embrace love even as horrific events of her past threaten her happiness. Naomi Bowes was just a young girl living in West Virginia when she discovered a cellar where her father was keeping his latest rape victim. After helping the victim escape and getting the police involved, Naomi and her mother and brother try to go on with their lives, though it’s a constant struggle. The past seems to constantly encroach on Naomi’s life, even though she changes her name and lives with her uncle and his husband. Years later, Naomi is a successful photographer who finds solace in the small town of Sunrise Cove, Wash., where she buys an old house and works on remodeling it. She also finds unexpected love with local mechanic Xander Keaton. As she lets him into her heart, her world is shattered by a series of gory murders. Roberts has an unparalleled ability to paint a picture with words—readers will easily picture Naomi’s photographic art and her rambling home with its beautiful view—and the story is expertly executed. Sizzling romance, affable characters, and enticing suspense make this a read to be savored. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Apr.)