What must it be like for the family of a monster killer? Discussion Post #TuesdayBookBlog

A Discussion post

The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Recently I finished reading The Obsession by Nora Roberts. This book pulled me into the pages and I didn’t want it to end. Why?

About the genre

This is a romantic suspense and a stand-alone, as opposed to some of Roberts’ other work, many of which are written as trilogies.

The Plot

A young girl discovers a savagely abused young women and bravely rescues her.  The fall-out is the discovery of a high profile serial killer. It takes years for the young girl to get over what happened. Finally she decides to put down roots, but danger follows as her past comes back to haunt her.

A Question

What must it be like for the family of a monster killer? In a discussion thread on www.fallintothestory.com Roberts states that this was the starting point for the plot of this book. There are three immediate family members: two young children and a wife.

The Wife: What must it be like to realise you are married to someone that you find you know little about? Do you think it is possible to not suspect a thing? As the book progresses we see how the killer’s wife was influenced by a gradual enforcement of control.

If you are a wife/partner/ How do you think you’d feel if you were faced by this shocking reveal?

The first emotion is mostly likely severe shock, or denial, but perhaps it could have been anger too? How hard is it to judge someone else while setting aside your own influences from your upbringing? Have you read the book? If so, what made you like or dislike the wife of the killer?

Whose story is it anyway?

The Obsession is the story of the young girl who discovered a crime and how it affected the rest of her life, but it also brushed on the lives of so many others. Part of the reason Roberts’ writing is so popular is because she creates characters that a reader can invest in and really empathise with.

Strong characters

It doesn’t matter if you are reading a book from Roberts’ romance themed trilogies like Three Sisters Island, or a book from the  Born In… series where she writes as J.D Robb, or even her latest book Year One which goes in an exciting new direction for Roberts, it’s her characters that grab readers.

A sequel?

Some fans have clamoured for a sequel from the point of view of a couple of the other characters. Sadly for them, Roberts says she wrote this book only as a stand-alone.*  Laura Reeth, Roberts’ publicist, announced that due to a change in publishers a sequel would not happen.


For me and many fans of Roberts, the characters made this book compelling. I’m often as inquisitive as the next man about what makes a person tick, but for a book to pull me in, the main characters really need to show a strength that I connect to, especially if I get one of those ‘goose bump’ moments when you ‘know’ a book speaks to you deeply.

So, if you enjoy Roberts’ writing style, can you pinpoint why she keeps you reading?  If you’ve read The Obsession, what do you think it must be like to be the family of a monster killer?


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