What's Obsession all about ...
One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could?
It is a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life.
Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky. But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?
Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?
Obsession is a dark, twisting thriller about how quickly our lives can fall apart when we act on our desires.
I am delighted to be able to share this tantalising extract from Obsession...
Published in ebook 4 May 2017
Paperback 1 June 2017
‘Can I get you a drink?’ I say dutifully.
‘When we’ve found Matt.’
‘Found him? I thought he was with you.’
‘He was, Mummy, but when I went down the wiggly slide, I thought he was behind me but he never arrived.’
‘He’s probably just in another part of the slide complex. Let’s go and ask the staff.’
Holding John’s hand, I venture through a yellow and blue doorway, into a world where toddlers tumble and twist through nets and tubes, thundering towards me at frightening velocities. But it’s only me that is intimidated, not the toddlers. They are laughing and smiling as their chubby bodies slide and bounce. At the bottom of every tube or net there is a substantial amount of blue matting and a Snakes and Ladders guard; a young adult wearing a canary yellow sweat shirt. I approach the nearest guard, clinging tightly to John’s hand to keep him with me.
‘Excuse me,’ I say to him, a boy of about sixteen. A boy with a pulpy face, a rash of spots on his right cheek. ‘I can’t find my other son.’
‘What’s he wearing? I’ll look out for him.’
‘Black jeans and a T-shirt,’ John replies before I can remember.
‘And his name?’
‘Matthew Burton. Matt for short,’ I reply.
‘Tell me a bit more about what he looks like.’
‘He looks about five – but he’s only three and a half. And his hair is blond, like his brother’s.’
‘That’s me,’ John proudly informs the pimply youth.
‘Wait in the café, I’ll go looking for him and bring him to you as soon as possible,’ he replies, a little sharply. He is looking at me critically, but I ignore him.
By the time he has finished his sentence John has freed himself from my hand and is climbing up a purple net. Before I have returned through the plastic door to the café for another cup of coffee, John is already halfway up the giant play frame.
Half an hour later, a man wearing a suit and an earpiece is standing in front of me holding John’s hand. Attached to his shirt is a plastic badge telling me that he is the manager of Snakes and Ladders. Only his badge and his earpiece prevent him from looking like a funeral director, so low are his eyes, so dark his grimace.
‘I’m sorry to say we can’t find your son Matt on the main play frame,’ he announces.
My stomach tightens in annoyance.
‘He went in. He must be there,’ I reply.
‘We’ve checked every camera for twenty-five minutes.’ There is a pause. ‘Is it possible he ran past you and went outside?’
‘I wouldn’t have thought he would have done that.’
‘Is it possible?’
‘I fell asleep. So it’s possible. Unlikely, but possible.’
‘We have another play complex outside. Maybe he went there.’
‘Why would he do that without telling anyone? He’s never been there before.’
John starts to cry. ‘I want my baby brother.’
I lift him into my arms.
‘We’ll find him. He can’t have gone far,’ I tell him.
We follow the manager out of the Snakes and Ladders indoor arena, across the car park towards a large wooden climbing frame built in the shape of a fortress with boardwalk walls. The castle teems with children racing around the walls. I stand next to the manager, clinging on to John who is still crying, and a fist of panic suddenly squeezes me inside. Where is my son? Where has he gone?
What’s happened to him?
More about the Author...
Amanda attended the Faber novel writing course and writes full-time. Obsession is her debut novel.
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Here's what I thought about Obsession..
When Carly, on a family holiday, asks her husband Rob a fateful question "who else would you go for, if you could?” ...little does she realise the chain of events which are about to be unleashed and which, in consequence have a devastating effect, not just on her and Rob's marriage, but also on the, marriage of their close friends, Craig and Jenni.
Both families are in close contact, their children run freely together, and the families share days out and happy times. However, piece by jagged piece, a sorry tale of infidelity starts to emerge and the darkness and volatility of toxic relationships begins to overshadow everything that was once normal. In separate chapters each of the main characters share their own devastating story which strikes at the very heart of family life.
And that is really all I can say without giving anything of the plot away...
It's a clever author who can keep you reading a story when none of the main characters are remotely likeable. I looked and looked for snippets of redeeming qualities in any of the major players and found nothing to elicit an ounce of sympathy from me. In truth, and I won't reveal any spoilers, I was quite relieved when the story ended ,and with no with disrespect intended to the author, I'd just about had enough of all the whole sorry lot of them!
Clever, twisty, and suspenseful, Obsession is one of those books that keeps you turning the page long into the night just to see what on earth is going to happen next.
Best Read with ..Big Mac, chips and a super sized coffee..
My thanks to Helena at Harper Collins for the kind invitation to be part of this blog tour and for the opportunity to share this extract from Obsession with you.
Follow the Blog Tour on Twitter #Obsession until the 24th May for more exciting content.