Published by Avon
ebook: 4 May 2017 | paperback: 1 June 2017
464 pages | Genre: psychological thriller
One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could?
It is a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life.
Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky.
But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?
Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?
Obsession is a dark, twisting thriller about how quickly our lives can fall apart when we act on our desires.
Perfect for fans of B A Paris and Paula Hawkins.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Jenni
by Amanda Robson
1. When she was a child she kept a pet rat called Raticulus in her bedroom. He was black and white. Every day when she came home from school she would let him out of his cage to play with him and stroke him. When he died she held a funeral service for him and buried him behind the gooseberry bush in the garden. When Raticulus had been buried with due respect, she went to the local pet shop and chose another rat companion, a pale brown creature this time who she named Raticulus the Second. Raticulous the Second misbehaved far more than his predecessor and frequently escaped from her bedroom. One morning her mother found him curled up asleep in her lingerie drawer. One evening her father found him asleep on his pillow. They thought he was mischievous because he was lonely so they bought another rat, and she had babies. Raticulous the Second and his family seemed to take over the house.
2. In the sixth form Jenni went vegan for a while but developed vitamin B12 deficiency. She became exhausted, so tired she could hardly walk, heart racing, legs dragging. Her symptoms gradually became worse over a number of months until all she wanted to do was stay in bed and sleep. Her mum took her to the doctor who insisted she had a blood test. When the results came back she was encouraged to start eating milk and cheese or take vitamin B12 supplements. She opted to do both, and is now just vegetarian. Pity. For Jenni knows that if whole world turned vegan it would be better for sustainability, and sustainability is a major issue.
3. She recently self-published a volume of religious poetry, entitled ‘For the love of Jesus.’ It contains poems of mixed styles, some Haiku, some sonnets written in iambic pentameter, some just not very rhythmic expressions of her thoughts and ideas. The cover is a photograph of a sunset. She has posted a video of herself on “YouTube” reading a few of her favorites. She has had over one hundred views. Rob has told her he things her video is delicious.
4. Jenni really likes Caitlin Moran. Why? Because she is such a witty feminist. Her idea that women shouldn’t read books written by men until they are old enough to handle it, is brilliant. Well done, Caitlin Moran.
5. Jenni takes the world situation very seriously. To keep herself informed she listens to the Today programme for as long as she can (every morning except Sunday.) She takes The Week and The Spectator, and reads every edition from cover to cover. Her dream job would be a preacher, invited to give Thought for the Day on Radio 4. A radio vicar. Broadcasting her religious beliefs to the biggest audience possible.
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At the time of this post, Obsession can be downloaded from Amazon UK for 99p
As soon as I saw the blurb for this and took part in the cover reveal recently, I wanted to read this. A psychological thriller – yes please – definitely my kind of book and now after reading, I have to say it is quite different to many that I’ve encountered recently.
When Carly asks her GP husband Rob one question whilst on a family holiday, it sets off a chain of events that nobody could forsee. The lesson here is don’t ask a question that you don’t want to know the answer to! Each chapter is told by one of the four characters and whilst this sometimes repeats some of the narrative, hearing their version of events in their own voice does give another perspective and a makes it a more personal and, at times, voyeuristic read.
I can’t remember when I last read a book where I disliked the characters so much but then I feel that was the author’s intention. This is not a sugar coated story but more of a delve into the darker side of the human psyche. Carly, I detested from the outset. She had a nice life, children (who she didn’t seem to care for very much) and a loving husband but she still wasn’t happy, picking a fight whenever she could – my nickname for her was Carly the Cow. However, as I read on, I began to realise that none of the others were any great shakes either and actually I couldn’t really get behind any of them. Perhaps Rob, Carly’s husband, was the only one that I felt any remote sympathy for in the beginning but then he began to grate with his religious outpourings and double standards. I am not an atheist but I’m not particularly religious either and religion does feature heavily with a couple of the characters. Surprisingly so really, considering some of their thoughts and behaviour.
This is very much a slow burner of a story and focuses more on the characters than actions, however, the slow build up did add to the intensity of the story – you just knew that something bad was going to happen but you couldn’t look away. The short chapters made it a very addictive read; I may not have cared much for the characters but I was still desperate to know what happened to them.
There are several themes covered in this story including mental illness, depression and addiction. Don’t be mistaken however that this will be a depressing read – these darker elements add to the gritty realism and the realisation that in fact the scenarios our characters face could happen in other families. The author has woven these strands very well into a dark and gripping plot with the power to shock. One thing I should mention is that there is quite a lot of sexual content in the story, so much so that when I first started reading, I thought it was heading towards being an erotic thriller – this didn’t bother me at all but if that isn’t your thing, just be warned.
Obsession is the author’s debut novel. The storytelling is accomplished and powerful and I’m looking forward to reading more by Amanda Robson.
My thanks to Avon for the paperback copy to review and for including me on the blog tour.
About the author:
After graduating, Amanda Robson worked in medical research at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and at the Poisons Unit at Guy’s Hospital where she became a co-author of a book on cyanide poisoning – and this book makes terrifying use of poison throughout…
Amanda attended the Faber novel writing course and writes full-time. Obsession is her debut novel.