Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m going to be posting my review for Amanda Robson’s exceptional debut novel, ‘Obsession.’ I took part in the blog tour for this book on Sunday 21st May (which you can find here), and I loved it so much that I just had to review it separately for you! So, here goes…
** TRIGGER WARNING ** Contains references to mental illness, various substance abuse and explicit sexual activity
‘Obsession’ is Amanda Robson’s debut novel, and was released as an eBook on 4th May 2017 and is due to be released as a paperback on 1st June 2017. After graduating, Robson worked in medical research and became the co-author of a book on cyanide poisoning. She attended the Faber Academy writing course in 2011, and now writes from home full time. She lives in London and Wales with her family.
‘Obsession’ is currently Number 1 in the iBooks charts and is part of the Kindle top 100 best sellers, and the book has received much positive praise. Many authors loved it, for example B.A. Paris: “Thrilling, unputdownable – I was obsessed by this book,” Holly Seddon: “It was clear from the very first chapter that this was going on a dark and disturbing journey,” Colette McBeth: “Very pacy and twisted,” and Emma Flint: “Robson explores marriage, jealousy and lust with brutal clarity, making for a taut thriller full of page-turning suspense.”
This novel is an outstanding domestic thriller, and I physically couldn’t put it down whilst reading. It essentially revolves around the relationships of Carly and Rob, and Craig and Jenny, as they struggle to cope with ongoing jealousy, infidelity, and addictions/“obsessions”. Many issues threaten to tear apart these friends and couples, and the novel expertly explores the themes of betrayal and forgiveness.
I can’t really say that I have a “favourite” character in this book – they are all VERY dislikeable. Just when you begin to relate to one character and despise others, Robson throws in a new problem and we see a new light to the characters. The novel is narrated from the perspectives of Carly, Rob, Jenny and Craig, with very short chapters to quicken the pace. The reader is able to gain a thorough and detailed insight into the characters’ mind, and all are equally valid in my opinion.
Carly is struggling with some addictions/“obsessions” and it soon comes to light that she is severely mentally ill. I really related to her in the beginning, but soon it becomes clear that she is not solely the victim. Rob is Carly’s husband and a respected GP – but his high reputation allows him to get away with a few tricks. Jenny is a friend of the couples’ who is seemingly innocent at first, but her commitment to religion soon takes a turn for the worse. And Craig is Jenny’s husband, an untrustworthy and deceitful character who manipulates others for his own personal gain.
**WARNING** This book contains scenes of explicit sexual activity which some readers may find uncomfortable or distressing. It explores the issues of mental illness, various addictions and sex/infidelity, and some scenes are very graphic or dark in content. And at times, the book does almost feel like an Erotica. If you are uncomfortable with reading this type of content, I would urge you to skip this book.
As the narrative motors forwards, so many more issues come to light. Just when you think everything is going to be okay and the characters’ will find happiness, Robson throws in a new curveball and the narrative takes a very different direction. It quickly becomes a game of cat-and-mouse between the two couples, as jealousy and curiosity urge all of the characters to make reckless mistakes. It truly explores just how strong the bonds of marriage and love really are, and how far they can be bent before they break for good. It examines how evil and temptation are a part of human nature, as the characters all have their own evils lurking inside of them, just waiting to be unleashed. This novel is highly addictive and I definitely became “obsessed” with it. Each word is carefully crafted, and Robson clearly has a skill in terms of writing dark, addictive material for the reader to feed off.
So, let’s talk about the ending. The ending is spectacularly tragic, and unexpected. The misunderstandings and tensions between the characters’ finally reach their peak, and the book takes a shocking turn of events. I truly didn’t see the ending coming, and was absolutely astounded and devastated. However, I did feel very satisfied with the way the book ended, as the events are finally resolved for good. I’d absolutely love a sequel, so I could find out exactly what happens to the characters after the events of the book.
Overall, I would highly recommend ‘Obsession’ to those of you who enjoy reading thrillers, particularly domestic thrillers, and don’t mind reading explicit or dark content. The book is full of suspense and twists, with expertly-constructed characters and a fantastic ending – what more could you want?! My only criticisms are the fact that some scenes were difficult to read, the book was slightly religion-heavy for me at times, and some of the minor characters i.e. the children were not as well-developed as they could have been. That being said, this is a truly excellent thriller with many positives outweighing the negatives, and I highly recommend it! I can guarantee you’ll be obsessed with ‘Obsession’!
Happy reading 🙂