I am delighted to be on the blog tour today for the debut novel by Amanda Robson with a review of Obsession and a guest post from Amanda with 5 facts you didn’t know about Carly!
About this book…
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.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Carly
1. When she was a teenager she developed a crush on Robbie Williams, her favourite member of Take That. She was devastated when he left the band. She managed to get tickets to see one of their reunion performances at Wembley in July 2011. Carly made Rob come home early from their summer holiday that year to attend the concert. Rob didn’t enjoy it. Boy bands are not his thing. He prefers classical music. Or heavy rock. There isn’t very much that Carly doesn’t know about Robbie Williams. She has doted on him since she was twelve years old. High on her evening alcohol buzz she frequently dances around the kitchen to his latest album – ‘The Heavy Entertainment Show.’’ “Motherfucker,” is her favourite track.
2. Carly never leaves the house without wearing makeup. She never even leaves her bedroom without slapping some on. Her motto is – always make an effort to look good. A lipstick, blusher and green eye-shadow sort of girl, the makeup she wears is long lasting and expensive: Christian Dior, Shiseido, Yves Saint Laurent. She has lipsticks scattered around the house for instant access. When the electricity failed one evening, she even put her make-up on in the dark.
3. Carly has had over a hundred boyfriends. She started dating when she was thirteen, but she already looked about sixteen by then. Her first date was with a young man named Edwin Prosser who was several years older than her. ‘Date,’ was a bit of an exaggeration. They went for an evening walk in the park. When they kissed he put his tongue in her mouth. Their relationship didn’t progress. When she was young, if somebody asked Carly out, more often than not, her sense of adventure enticed her to say yes.
4. Carly hates opera music. She finds its melody too complex. To her it sounds clunky, contorted, and strangulated. And she doesn’t like the fact that she can’t understand the words. She has visited Glynbourne, Garcington, and the Grange, to please Rob, but apart from enjoying dressing up and drinking champagne, the rest of the occasion washes over her. Carly thinks “The Cunning Little Vixen” is the worst opera ever written. So kooky and ridiculous. Janacek must have been on high on something when he wrote it.
5. Even though Carly doesn’t like to admit it, her favourite radio station is Radio 2. (If you ask her she’ll say its Radio 1.) The Jeremy Vine show is her favourite. She listens to it at lunchtime in the café across the road from the surgery, earphones plugged into her iPhone. She is never very pleased when Jenni follows her across the road into the café, shares a table with her and interrupts her. Jenni can be such an insensitive bitch.
Oh my days! This book! I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t this dark, tormenting domestic drama. Little did I realise what treats lay in store for me when I started this beauty because once I went in, that was me for the rest of the evening! I was hooked!
There are four narrators here, two married couples who offer us different viewpoints of the relationships between them all. Be warned though that none of them are particularly likeable characters and they may have you growling at your book in frustration at times! And also make sure you’re not easily offended as the sexual element is quite detailed, though surprisingly unerotic. But the twists and turns of the plot here mean you are never entirely sure where your sympathies lie and my opinions chopped and changed throughout depending on who was talking. The first few chapters were a bit of an eye opener for me especially when it came to Carly, a wife and mother who seemed to have it all but who remained strangely detached from her own life. One drunken night whilst on holiday she seems to take great pleasure in stirring things up with her husband and asking him who else would he go for it if he could? And the answer to that question sends them spiralling onto a morally self indulgent collision course. And to be honest I was just sitting back watching them all, trying to work out who had their finger closest to the self destruct button and who they were going to take down with them when they pushed it! I mean, these people were parents!! Whatever happened to family first? And as I got to the final few chapters my reading speed slowed right down as I didn’t want to read the ending even though I still had no idea what that ending was going to be! How can an author make me care so much about what happens to people I don’t even like?!
I found this to be a skin crawling, tense and disturbingly voyeuristic look at the shockwaves emanating from these toxic relationships. It became MY obsession whilst reading it and I have come away feeling decidedly grubby but knowing that this is one book that I will remember for quite some time.
Many thanks to the publisher for my advanced review copy of Obsession: A shocking psychological thriller where love affairs turn deadly is available to purchase at Amazon UK from 4th May 2017.