Book Review: Obsession by Amanda Robson

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 Jenni. 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.

Obsession by Amanda Robson is a thought-provoking, shocking and sultry read. Following the lives of Carly and Rob, and Jenni and Craig, Robson explores the bonds of friendship and relationships, while at the same time pushes both of these things to their very limits in order to show her readers the consequences of doing so. Intense, stifling and utterly engrossing, this book was almost suffocating in its hold over me and I could hardly bear to put it down once I'd began.

What fans the flame, what truly sets the fires blazing within this novel, is a simple question from wife to husband, basically along the lines of, 'if you could go with any other woman, who would you pick?' I suppose that Carly was expecting her husband to say something like, 'no one, you're the only woman for me' or 'I don't know, that actress in that film we watched'. But Rob's reply is something that Carly can't quite let go of, because his reply is not concerning some random actress or model that he's maybe seen on TV once upon a time, but instead Carly's very best friend, Jenni. I mean, to be honest, I can understand why Carly would be a bit shook when Rob gives this answer. But following this confession, the lives of all four of these people are soon unravelling at a rapid-fire rate for a million and one reasons.

Each of the characters within this book stood out for me. From Carly and Jenni, to their husbands Rob and Craig, I felt wholly involved within the ins and outs of both relationships, and being witness to the secrets between both couples was very satisfying indeed. I knew things before the characters themselves did, and that made it all the more exciting. It's true what they say, everything we do has repercussions in the end, and that is highlighted spectacularly within this book. There was rather a lot of focus on faith and religion too, which went well, I thought, with the ongoing and prominent themes of marriage and love explored between the pages as well as the sheets.

At first, these relationships seem genuinely healthy and happy on the surface, but isn't that always the way? Isn't there always something hiding beneath the smooth and polished veneer? That is certainly the case within Obsession by Amanda Robson. As the novel progresses, circumstances gradually begin to feel a little more sinister, tightening with very little leeway for humour or light-heartedness. The tension and suspense was almost unbearable at some points, and when these characters feel like they are suddenly being pushed to their limits, unthinkable things begin to take place. It becomes a game, almost, between Carly and Jenni. A test to see who can be pushed the furthest before one of them loses it completely.

With every chapter change comes a new perspective to see things from, and I loved this about Obsession. There is nothing more satisfying than getting a good look at things from all angles and Amanda Robson allows readers to do exactly that, although then comes the question of who to trust, and who to believe, and in a novel like this, where the characters really are willing to do anything, then it's hard to decide whose corner you want to stand in. Circumstances worse as the novel continues surging onwards, and I could hardly catch my breath, watching as the events unfolded before my very eyes.

The finale, the moment I wondered whether I was imagining things or not, shocked me to my very core. I couldn't believe it, and am still wondering, even now, whether I am right or wrong in thinking that there was intention behind the action or not, and I LOVE IT when a book leaves you wondering like that.

Overall, Obsession by Amanda Robson had me exactly as the title would suggest. OBSESSED. This is such an intense, fiery and catastrophic novel, not only about relationships and partners, but about trust being broken, lines being crossed and revenge being served on a plate with a side-order of 'game over'. It was absolutely riveting, and I will not hesitate to read another book by this author. In fact, I cannot wait to see what she has got in store for her readers next.

Hummingbird Reviews is awarding Obsession by Amanda Robson with five out of five stars. Thanks to the publisher for the review copy of this book.

You can pre-order your copy of Obsession by Amanda Robson here.

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