Category Archives: Book Reviews
Dawn Brotherton’s new mystery novel, The Obsession, tells two intertwining stories. Jackie Austin, a young woman in the Air Force, has recently bought a new home, although her career means she can’t spend too much time there. Jackie is the first female missilier, and her job takes her away from home a lot. Weird things start happening in her house, and she doesn’t know if she’s just being absent-minded, if someone’s pranking her, or if it’s more sinister.
Meanwhile, someone is murdering young women nearby. The police are doing their best, but the killer is crafty. It seems like a serial killer is targeting young single women, who are a lot like Jackie herself.
The novel is told in alternating, third-person sections, bringing both story lines together for an exciting finish. The author blends factual details of Air Force work to create a realistic setting for this mystery novel. Some of the subplots really rely on everyday details about Air Force life, like the “slam book” where bored workers can leave useful notes for the next shift, chat by pen with off-duty coworkers, or start nasty rumors. Jackie’s friendships and relationships were clearly shaped by military life and scheduling, and the experience of being a woman in such a male-dominated area. This makes Jackie an interesting and easily relatable protagonist, which in turn makes readers worry about her safety as the drama unfolds.
I particularly enjoyed the hints, because there was a great mix of foreshadowing and red herrings, and it was fun to try to figure it out along with Jackie. As the reader grows to care about Jackie, it’s hard not to view everyone around her with suspicion. When strange things start to happen, there are just so many possibilities! Is one of the guys at work joking around, trying to play a silly prank on a teammate? Is a male coworker jealous of her success and deliberately trying to frighten and unsettle her? Or is she the target of a killer?
Without revealing too many spoilers, I will say that I enjoyed Jackie’s good sense under pressure. Even when in danger, Jackie’s no damsel in distress. The novel blends some of the unique challenges of being a women in the Air Force with a murder mystery.
This is the first in a planned trilogy of Jackie Austin mysteries.
Pages: 213 | ASIN: B004J8HTH6
Eve has to get away from Nyx so that she can learn her powers, but it’s not a situation she would prefer but it has to be done. While she’s gone Nyx unleashes evil of all sorts. Thinking they have found a paradise, Eve and the others inadvertently get into bed with the enemy. They meet Lea and James whose depravity they could not begin to contemplate. They all have to fight a demon they do not understand. They must come together as a group if they are to survive. Without their collective wit and survival skills, they might never escape the labyrinth. How do they begin to understand their enemy? Will they live to tell the tale?
For a second installment in a series, this book does not disappoint. T.L. Bailey lives up to her reputation and produces a compelling tale of a team of survivors. A thrilling narration of people who are determined to fight to tooth and nail for the good of humanity. T.L. Bailey plunges the reader right into that abyss with the characters. The story is intricate and filled with well developed characters in a dark but richly developed setting. From the author’s masterful use and manipulation of language, the reader will find the chaos engaging but easy to follow. In simpler terms, be prepared to suffer right alongside Eve and the charming Black.
The dialogue is captivating in its simplicity. The relationships between characters are slow to start but profound once they have time to develop. There is something different in every relationship which is something that I looked forward to when the story circled back to them. The humor in the interactions, I thought, was sometimes out of place but usually fitting. It brought moments off levity that were well executed but broke the well established tension. To be scared of what could come next one moment but smile at something funny the next. That requires skill. I have mixed feeling about this to say the least.
Black is quite the fellow. He especially stands out when he speaks on the nature of human beings. He says that human beings are best when they are at their worst. It is easy to feel like he is the anchor of this whole story. Like he serves a larger role than anyone else. Eve seems inexperienced and almost naive. But, with Black around one feels certain that she could really use her learned power to serve and save others.
There are very minor, very rare instances of misspellings like ‘mist’ instead of ‘midst’. However, this book is far too entertaining and intriguing to penalize it for something ever so mundane. The sheer detail of narration and skillful writing makes it a gem.
Pages: 273 | ISBN: 1980478775