Author: Karen M Davis
Simon & Schuster RRP $29.99
Review: Monique Mulligan
Deadly Obession brings back damaged but determined protagonist Detective Lexie Rogers, first introduced in Sinister Intent. That first book was a cracker and left me wanting more, so I was pleased when Deadly Obsession landed in my mailbox. With this latest novel, author Karen M Davis has delivered another fast-paced police procedural that is bound to make many a crime fiction lover happy.
The novel picks up a few months after Sinister Intent left off; in that time a lot has happened. Lexie is back on the beat after an injury sustained on the job, and her burgeoning romance with Josh, also a detective, appears to be over. Their relationship is a big focus of this novel, giving the storyline a hefty romantic element. Her heart still in tatters, Lexie focuses on the job and her latest case has all – almost all – her attention. How did a young nurse’s body come to be at Clovelly Beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs? Is it a suicide? Or has someone set it up to look like suicide? When Lexie and her partner Brad Sommers find similarities to other cases, they know something is not right.
Davis sets up the scene well, highlighting an obvious suspect while (mostly) covering up the real perpetrator. I write “mostly” because I had my hackles up about the perpetrator early on. For the most part, there are enough red herrings and false trails to keep readers guessing. The race-against-the-clock tension as Lexie realises the murders are connected to her somehow is enhanced by the romantic tension between Lexie and Josh, and keeps those pages turning. What readers get is a book that’s as much character driven as plot driven, and the ending is a chiller that leaves the way open for the next book.
It’s good to see Lexie’s character developing; her desire to prove herself is stronger than ever. Readers of the series will also see a different side to Josh – a more vulnerable side as he deals with grief after the death of his sister. Lexie and Josh’s mutual insecurity hint that the road ahead for them will continue to be rocky. However, unlike Sinister Intent, the secondary characters are not developed greatly, although Brad lends a bit of a comic touch that offsets the seriousness of the crimes.
Can you read this as a standalone? Yes, you can, but I would recommend reading Sinister Intent first. Fast-paced and action-packed, Deadly Obsession will take you on a bumpy ride through Sydney’s dark side.
Available from good bookstores. My copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster.
Bookish treat: A flat white and a biscuit was all I needed for this one. Too busy turning pages.