In Obsession Falls, New York Times best-selling author Christina Dodd returns to the town of Virtue Falls, Washington - an idyllic place on the surface, but one that holds close its secrets. When Taylor Summers witnesses the death threat to a young boy, she does the only thing she can do - she sacrifices herself to distract the killers. Her reward is a life in ruins, on the run in the wilderness, barely surviving a bitter winter and the even more bitter knowledge she has lost everything: her career, her reputation, her identity. She finds refuge in Virtue Falls, and there comes face to face with the knowledge that, to live her life again, she must enlist the help of the man who does not trust her to defeat the man who would destroy her. She's being hunted, but it's time to turn the tables....
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Taylor Summers lived a normal life, in a normal place, doing normal things. Then she went to her childhood stomping grounds, meandered up into the surrounding mountains, and saw a very not-normal kidnapping on the verge of becoming a murder. A murder of a child. She had to stop it!
She did, but life as Taylor Summers ended that day. Nothing was normal again. Not the months of scrabbling and stealing to preserve her life in the wilderness, not the work she could find to do, not the place she had to live. The threat of discovery and death hovered, and the source of the greatest danger was not clear. Was it the billionaire uncle of the boy she saved from death? The charming vintner? Or the famous football player turned assassin? And in the midst of chaos, could her heart find safe harbor?
Obsession Falls is the second book in Christina Dodd’s newest suspense series; Virtue Falls was the first. As a long-time reader of Dodd’s work, I find these books a departure for her. They are more complex, with the romance often taking a backseat to the suspense. That is particularly true of Obsession Falls. Perhaps this venture into deeper entanglements led to the flaws I found in the story, which were not deal-breakers but distracting. For me, the storyline became muddy a few times, especially when she was in the wilderness. The scattered scenes illuminating brief episodes over those months were sometimes hard to connect to the main story. I wondered if she’d written this section much longer, then had to go back and cut out a lot of it. Overall, it felt like it wanted to be a longer book, with some of the action feeling disjointed. It is definitely Taylor’s story, with the romantic interest not even appearing until well into the book. The romantic aspect was likewise muddy, for me. If there’s a Happily Ever After (HEA) in the offing, I want it to be clear and strong, at least by the ending. This was less clear. And speaking of the ending, it was definitely a setup for a sequel and felt crafted specifically to do that rather than to further the story told in Obsession Falls.
But, criticism notwithstanding, I enjoyed the book and have it in my Audible library. I will listen to it again, along with Virtue Falls, which I also like. Taylor Summers is an engaging heroine, likeable and real. The secondary characters are likewise well-drawn, and I was able to submerge myself into the story with little effort. Overall the storyline is strong, the action riveting, and the danger menacing. I am looking forward to the next installment of the series, which I hope will bring additional resolution to Taylor’s story.
January LaVoy did the book justice. Her narration is animated, and allows you to fully enter the action of the story - which, to me, is the highest compliment you can pay a narrator. There are no peculiarities to her narration that distract, and she voices the characters effectively.
If you are a mystery/suspense fan, and like some romance in the mix, you will enjoy Obsession Falls!