Obsession by Debra Webb

OBESESSION
Obsession by Debra Webb
Publisher: Grand Central
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (368 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

The Faces of Evil Series: Book 1 She thought she’d left the murders-and his obsession-behind . . .

Special Agent Jess Harris has spent more than a decade studying the many faces of evil. In her determination to stop a serial killer, she broke the rules, and it cost her everything. With her career in need of resuscitation and her love life dead and buried, Jess jumps at a chance to advise on a case that has the top detectives of Birmingham, Alabama, stumped. But the case forces her to confront all the reasons she put her hometown-and her first love-in her rearview mirror.

Four young women have gone missing, and Police Chief Dan Burnett will do anything to find them before it’s too late-even if it means asking for help from the woman who has spent a decade avoiding him. Jess agrees to lend a hand and welcomes the diversion of a new case, a new life to save to make up for the victims she’s lost. But then the unthinkable happens: the crazed serial killer from her past follows Jess to Birmingham. The situation is becoming increasingly desperate-and time is swiftly running out . . .

Special Agent Jess Harris isn’t having the best week. Staring at the inevitable loss of her job and the humiliation of having screwed up in a big way, she figures helping out her one-time boyfriend with a case couldn’t do her any more harm than she’d already done herself. What she doesn’t expect, however, is that the crazed serial killer that had cost her job is about to find her.

Jess Harris is a tough character to get to like. She’s strong, independent, and spunky, but she’s also had a huge blow to her ego as well as her confidence. It’s this last part that makes her a bit unlikable in the beginning. She’s so determined to do everything on her own and in her own way that she doesn’t care whose toes she might step on. Thankfully, as she becomes more a part of the group and less the outsider, she loosens up a little bit. That said, once she lets the petty things go, she becomes a virtual force of nature in profiling the kidnapper of the missing women. She’s bright, she’s sharp, and she’s very, very good at her job. I think I liked her more in her obsessive agent mode than when she was just simply Jess. I’m looking forward to seeing more character growth with her in the next novel because she has the potential to be a great person to know.

Police Chief Dan Burnett is Jess Harris’ complete opposite. Warm and friendly and so very southern from the get-go, he’s a very likable character, even though he does have his moments. In a sense, he’s in a similar situation as Jess. These missing women have him stumped and his department has little to no evidence tying anyone to the crime. At times, he lets his pride get in the way, but for all intents and purposes, he admits to it and moves on much more quickly than Jess does. However, because of this, the two of them are very dynamic as a couple – both romantic and as investigating partners. Their tendency to butt heads a bit before compromising holds a lot of promise for romantic sparks later on.

Obsession is a joyride of emotions from the very first page. Between the main story of the missing women and the backstory involving the serial killer that Jess had been attempting to arrest, there is constantly something happening to keep you on your toes. The author’s style and the whirlwind of events in the story made this a fast read for me and the shocking conclusion has left me eager for the sequel.

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