My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
A gripping read that’s very difficult to put down, Obsession kept me up late into the night. It’s a little on the long side and I don’t think I liked a single character but it definitely makes for compulsive reading.
A great debut from an author I’ll be looking out for in the future.
Synopsis (from GoodReads)
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?
I have to admit I really struggled with rating this book. It started off fantastically well with intriguing characters, an interesting plot and writing that really hooked me and made it extremely difficult to stop reading but somewhere along the line I feel like it lost it’s way. It may just have been me rather than the book as by the time I was nearing the end I was tired, grouchy and more than a little stressed at work but I felt like it went a little flat.
At almost 500 pages it is a little on the long side for a thriller but I think what I loved about this book was also what bugged me, the writing. The story is told in first person from the four main characters pov but other than from the content and chapter titles you’d be hard pressed to tell one character’s voice from another’s. It’s written using these very short and snappy sentences which really build tension and keep you hooked (every time I picked it up I couldn’t stop reading and literally nothing would take my focus from the page) however it started to feel a bit too much and I began to hope for a change in pace or voice.
The story itself is very enjoyable and extremely twisty as you would expect. There are a lot of secrets and it definitely keeps you guessing. I should add a warning here that it is quite sexually explicit and there is a lot of sex and swearing particularly in the first half of the book so if that kind of thing bothers you this might not be for you.
The characters are complex and I found more than one to be somewhat erratic. I don’t think I particularly liked anyone but I did find my sympathy going to certain characters more than others and all were definitely interesting to read. It might have been good to have more well rounded secondary characters however, that being said I did actually like how focused it was on the two couples. It created a sense of claustrophobia which added to the tension.
So based on this how do I rate? I think it’ll be 3.5 stars from me. Brilliant for a debut novel but with so many thrillers out there it wasn’t quite the stand out read I was hoping for.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for a review.