In Christina Dodd's Obsession Falls, Taylor Summers witnesses the death threat to a young boy, and does the only thing she can doshe 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.
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author CHRISTINA DODD builds worlds filled with suspense, romance and adventure and creates the most distinctive characters in fiction today. Her more than fifty novels, including Scent of Darkness, Into the Shadow, and Into the Flame, have been translated into twenty-five languages, featured by Doubleday Book Club, recorded on Books on Tape for the Blind, won Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart and RITA Awards, and been called the year's best by Library Journal. Dodd herself has been a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle.
Read an Excerpt
By Christina Dodd
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2015 Christina Dodd
All rights reserved.
The highway from Idaho's Sun Valley travels north into the Sawtooth Mountains with two lanes and strategically located turnouts in case a person needs to change a tire or gawk at the scenery. The road winds past shacks constructed of beer bottles and aluminum siding, past rusty mobile homes and clapboard houses in need of paint. That highway is a drive back in time, to a moment when the West opened its arms to every pioneer and misfit in the world.
Then the National Forest Service moved in.
No one ever said they did it wrong. The world deserves places of wildness, where no one logs trees that have grown since the time of Jesus, where snowmobiles and ATMs can't challenge black bears to battle and take out rare and delicate flowers. Most people want a place where hikers and backpackers can roam the wilderness, and then only in summer months when winter retreats ... and waits.
But even the National Forest Service can do nothing about Wildrose Valley. Wildrose Valley Road turns off the main highway, and rises up and up in hairpin turns that make flatlanders clutch and cringe. The surface is gravel, full of washboard stretches that beat a woman's teeth together as she drives her rented black Jeep Cherokee toward the place where she had been born.
She tops the summit and there it is — the valley, slung like a hammock between the mountains. Ranchers had settled here in the early twentieth century, carving out tracts of land where they raised cattle and children, grew gardens and alfalfa, fought freezing cold and the Depression and bankruptcy.
But here and now, in August, the valley is wide, yellow with grass, dappled with cattle and antelope. Meadows stretch miles to the far horizon where the mountains close in. The Forest Service likes to think they protect the wilderness; in truth, the Sawtooth Mountains themselves are the sentinels and guardians of the land.
Taylor Summers had spent her first nine years roaming the Sawtooth Mountains in search of a safe place, away from her home, away from her parents' constant, bitter arguments about her father's ranch, her mother's ambitions, and Taylor, who had somehow become the heart of their conflict.
Then, on her tenth birthday, she had moved with her mother to Baltimore, and was never again to see Wildrose Valley ... until today.
She drove slowly down the steep grade, absorbing the changes. Where small craftsman-style ranch houses had once stood, mansions now sprawled. Not many mansions, though; rich people bought wide acreages and surrounded themselves by vistas that could not be blocked.
Taylor didn't blame them. Today, when she rolled down her windows, she heard nothing but the wind through the golden grasses and the occasional call of a bird. She recognized a few landmarks: a stand of maple trees where she used to play, the unpainted wreck of a barn where she'd swung in an exhilarating ride on a rope out of the hayloft and through the wide-open doors.
And there! There was the turnoff to the Summers ranch, owned by her family for over a hundred years, until her mother forced her father to sell it in the divorce and divide the profits.
Involuntarily, Taylor's foot slipped off the accelerator and the car slowed.
Look! The people who bought the place had put up a phony gate, and they had the guts to put up a sign calling the place SUMMERS FOREVER.
They not only had claimed her heritage, they'd also claimed her name.
Taylor rolled up her windows, put her foot back on the gas, and drove through ruts and dust toward the end of the basin and her goal, where the mountains came together, squeezing the road like a vise.
An hour of driving too fast got her at last to the serenity of mountains. Here was the forest she sought. The air was thin, sharp, fresh with the scents of pine and earth and growth and, yes, surely ... inspiration.
Taylor had always considered herself a true artist.
Sure, she had gone to college to study graphic design, and sure, she had segued into interior decorating. But for all that she had besmirched her talent with good jobs that made gobs of money, she hugged close a strong sense of superiority. Deep inside, she had believed that if she flung away the trappings of success and became a full-time artist, her talent would change the world.
So to celebrate the crashing destruction of her second engagement, she had flown to Salt Lake City, rented a vehicle, and driven north along the Wasatch Range. She stopped to sketch every vista, expecting that sensitive, brilliant, expressive art would form beneath her fingers.
No. Not once. Not a hint of genius, of uplifting emotion or self-knowledge or glory or pain. All these years of believing in herself, and this ... this was it?
Drawn by the conviction that if she got home, she would rediscover her muse, she drove north, into Idaho. In Sun Valley, she rented a room, spent the night, and now here she was, heart pounding as she pulled into an isolated picnic area. She backed the Cherokee into a parking spot hidden by brush and trees. She grabbed a bottle of water, her waist pack, and her drawing pad, and climbed out. She followed a trail that wound through the trees, looking for the one spot she wished, believed, hoped, would reignite her vision.
In less than a mile, the forest ended and a wide, green meadow opened its arms to her, and she recognized this place. This, far more than the ranch, was home. Here her father had taught her to camp, to hike, to hunt. Of all her early life, those were the moments she treasured.
Taylor climbed up on one of the smooth, massive black basalt boulders abandoned by the glaciers. To her left and her right, as far as she could see, forbidding and majestic pinnacles pierced the pale blue of the August sky. To capture the grandeur of the Sawtooth Mountains required bold-hued oil paints done on a large canvas by a master.
All they had was her.
But she was here, and she longed to pay tribute to the forces of the earth.
Opening her sketch pad, she took up her charcoal pencil and gave her soul over to the vista before her.
When she had finished, she pulled back and studied her achievement.
In high school, her art teacher had told her anyone could draw a mountain, but a true artist depicted the soul of the mountain and gave the viewer a sense of glorious austerity or forbidding heights or searing cold. A true artist created not art, but feelings: longing, terror, love. Most of all, Taylor's art teacher warned her against making mountains look like ice-cream cones.
Taylor could state with great assurance the mountains she had sketched did not look like ice-cream cones.
They looked like ingrown toenails.
She rifled through her sketch pad, looking at each and every one of her drawings. How had she reduced the imperious majesty and eternal grandeur of the western mountains to such a disgusting human condition? She had dreamed of and planned for this, imagined her artistic talent would blossom in the place so long cherished in her childhood memories. Instead, she was a failure, such a failure that she was almost relieved when she heard a car bouncing along the washboard gravel road behind her. She shut her drawing tablet, slid off the rock, and headed into a stand of pines.
Not that she needed to hide. She had as much right to be here as anyone. But she was a woman alone. The car probably contained a rancher or some tourists, but wild game attracted out-of-season hunters, old gold claims dotted the creeks, and longtime residents carried guns. Up here, it was better to be safe than sorry.
When a black Mercedes came around the bend, hitting every rut as if it was a personal challenge, she grinned.
Rich tourists. She knew the type, city folks who could not believe that every road in America wasn't paved for their convenience. She wondered how far they would go before the washboards defeated them, or before they destroyed their car's oil pan on a protruding rock.
They passed out of sight behind a boulder as big as a house, where the road cut through the meadow, and there the sound of the engine cut out.
Probably they had a picnic lunch. They'd dine and head back ...
She glanced at her watch. Two thirty. Pretty soon, she needed to return to her rental Cherokee, too. It was a good two-plus-hours' drive back to town. But first ... she started walking deeper into the woods, looking for something less imposing to sketch. A tree, maybe. Or a bug.
On the road, two doors slammed.
One man spoke, coldly, clearly: "Get him out of the trunk."CHAPTER 2
Him? Out of the trunk?
She didn't like this guy's tone. She didn't like his words.
Who, or what, was in the trunk?
"Do you think this is far enough?" The other man sounded itchy, nervous.
She started walking again. None of her business ...
"How the hell much farther do you want to drive on that miserable crapfest of a trail? Jimmy said to bring him up here, find some place lonely, finish him, and dump the body —"
"Isn't this lonely enough for you?"
"I guess —"
Finish him? Dump the body?
She felt disoriented. Birds were twittering. Above her, massive Douglas fir trees wrapped the heavens in their branches and sang a song to the wind.
And someone within her earshot was talking about ... dumping the body?
"Then that's what we're going to do," the first guy said. "You want to argue with Jimmy?"
"No. No," the other guy stammered. "Not that scary bastard."
Some guy named Jimmy had hired these guys to ...
The trunk latch opened with barely a sound.
A child's scream filled the air.
This could not be happening. Taylor could not be up here, alone in the most peaceful place on earth, trying to get back her artistic mojo, and bear witness to a murder. A child's murder.
The second man said, "Jesus Christ, he hurled all over the trunk. I'm going to have to take this to the car detailers to get it cleaned up."
"No, you're not. How are you going to explain barf in the trunk? Tell them we were hauling a kid in there? Clean it yourself." The first guy had a baritone voice, and when he rolled out the orders, he did it with authority.
Above the voices, the child's wail became sobbing, punctuated by gasps for air.
Taylor did not want to be here.
But she was.
Chills ran up her arms, and she felt like hurling, too.
She left the protection of the trees and moved quietly into place behind the boulder.
She was safe here. She was. The boulder was as big as a house. Dense. Tall. Rolled into place by some ice age glacier.
She was safe.
She was a fool.
With her back against the rough stone, she slid and looked, slid and looked. Finally the car came into view.
And the men.
And the little boy.
And the guns.
Pistols, big pistols, held with casual familiarity in the men's hands.
One guy was bulky and narrow-eyed. He was in charge.
One was thin and muttering. He held the boy by the scruff of the neck and shook him like a terrier with a rat.
The boy ... the boy was about eight, white-faced, dark-haired, covered with vomit. Terrified.
Taylor was terrified, too. Her hands trembled. Her knees shook. Her heart thundered in her ears.
But she could still hear the casual slap Mr. Skinny gave the boy.
"Shut up," he said.
The boy sobbed more softly.
She looked again. She recognized the big guy. Seamore "Dash" Roberts, running back, Miami Dolphins, big scandal, jail time, a career that barely survived in arena football ... yeah.
The other guy wasn't anybody. He was just, you know, sweaty.
Both guys wore suits. Up here. In the land of ranchers, Ford trucks, tourists, and the occasional tree-hugger. So these men in the suits were out of place. But they didn't care. Because they were here to kill the boy and get out.
Good. Good. She could ID these guys ... when she got down to the police department. After they'd murdered that little boy.
"Where do you want to do it?" Mr. Skinny asked.
Dash glanced around.
Taylor flattened herself against the rock.
"There, by that tree stump." He pointed. "That way we can prop him up. He'll face the road and when McManus shows up, he'll see him right away."
"Let him search." Mr. Skinny laughed.
The boy's crying gave a hitch.
She glanced again.
He was terrified. Yes, he was. But he was also eyeing the men, looking around at his surroundings, like he knew he had to make a run for it. Like he knew he had to save himself.
"Christ's sake, think about it." Dash again, snappy and scornful. "There are wild animals up here. Wolves. Coyotes. We hide the body, they'll drag it away and eat it. Jimmy will be furious. He's paying, and he wants the most bang for his buck. Shock. Horror. All that crap."
"He really wants to get this dude's attention, doesn't he?"
"You don't want to get on Jimmy's wrong side. He knows how to handle business."
The child shivered convulsively. He wore a school uniform. A school uniform, for shit's sake, with slacks, a pressed shirt, and a tie. He was old enough to know he was going to die, and young enough not really to understand.
Well. Who did understand? She didn't. She wished she could help him. But there was no way. She wasn't carrying a gun. She couldn't just run at these guys, guys who were obviously professional hit men, and save the kid. All she would do was die, too. That wouldn't help the boy. She could do nothing but watch helplessly.
Even as she thought that, she was quietly, relentlessly tearing the sheets out of her drawing tablet. They were eight-by-eleven, good-sized sheets of paper with whipped cream clouds and ingrown toenail mountains.
She didn't have a plan.
Or rather — it was a stupid plan.
But the wind was blowing. The stand of trees was no more than twenty yards away. If she ran fast enough and dodged quickly enough, she could get away. And she couldn't stand to live the rest of her life knowing she didn't make even the most feeble attempt to save a child from murder by two professional killers.
Stupid plan. So stupid. She was going to get herself killed.
She heard her father's voice in her head. Taylor, you can't outrun a bullet.
She knew it. She really did. But the boy's crying was getting louder again, the men more silent. They were getting down to business, which was to murder the child and pose him so that guy, McManus, saw him as soon as he drove up the road.
Shock. Horror. All that crap.
When she had freed a dozen sheets of paper, she put the tablet on the ground and stepped on it. Holding three sheets high above her head like unformed paper airplanes, she let the wind catch them, heard them flap, took a breath — and released them.CHAPTER 3
She thought she would hear the sheets of paper as the wind carried them into the meadow. Into view of the hit men. To distract them. From the kid.
To attract their attention. To her.
To give the kid a chance to escape.
Stupid, stupid plan.
She didn't hear the flap of the papers.
All she heard was the red buzz of fear in her ears.
She zigged out into the meadow into plain sight of the gunmen, then zagged back behind the boulder.
A gunshot. She heard the gunshot. Loud. Sharp. Cruel. Close. To her.
So they'd seen her. Yay.
"Run, kid!" she yelled.
Shouts. She thought she heard shouts.
She glanced behind her.
Seamore "Dash" Roberts came around the boulder, pistol in hand. Moving fast.
She had the lead.
But he was a running back. Big guy. Got the nickname "Dash" because he was fast.
Bad. Very bad.
To beat him, she had to run straight toward the trees as fast as she could.
To live, she needed to zigzag.
She ran straight.
A shot rang out.
Oh, God. Oh, God. Please, God.
He missed because he had a pistol. That was good for her. Pistols were meant for close work. Hard to aim. Best he could do was thirty to forty feet if he was skilled, and he'd have to stop to really get a bead on her.
The forest. She had to get to the forest.
Run as hard as you can.
She reached the shelter of the trees.
She'd made it!
She glanced back.
He stopped, braced his feet, raised his pistol.
She ducked behind a tree.
A shot shattered the bark beside her.
This was okay. This was good. Because if he was shooting at her, he wasn't killing the kid.
Excerpted from Obsession Falls by Christina Dodd. Copyright © 2015 Christina Dodd. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part One: The Kidnapping,
Part Two: The Murder,
Part Three: New Girl in Town,
Part Four: The Game,
About the Author,
Also by Christina Dodd,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am a big fan of Christina Dodd and I really enjoyed the first Virtue Falls book. The first half of this book I didn't want to put it down but the second half felt rushed I didn't feel like we got to know the hero of the book well enough to decide of you really even like him and their relationship was rushed. I teally didn't find myself caring for any of the charcters I love a good twist but did not care for the ending. Spoiler I found Summer's fascination and attraction to the villan strange amd distirbing.
Received as part of the reviewers club... Fast read, draws you right in and keeps you there Must read for all Christina's fans!
Great story would love to see this in a movie. Can't put it down. Can see a #2. Jimmey coming back!
What would you do if you saw a little boy in danger from two men? I’d like to think I’d step in, but then what if they turned on me? Taylor Summers has to make this decision when she see’s a boy being pulled out of the trunk of a car and his would be killers talking about his murder. She does the unselfish and puts his life before her own and distracts the killers so he can escape. Unfortunately this action completely changes her life. She is convicted in the press of kidnapping the boy and then dying in a car explosion. Her identity gone, her previous life dissolved, she goes on the run from the killers. Taylor was amazing. As a little girl her father taught her some survival skills, but she took those memories and actually lived in the wild for a few months. When she lands in Virtue Falls, she starts a fresh new life, until the kidnapper finds her and she has to learn a new set of skills to outsmart him. This was a great second novel in the Virtue Falls series. Half of the book took place before Taylor arrives in Virtue Falls but when she does, our favorite characters from the first book become a part of the plot and we get to see where their lives are now. That’s always fun because sometimes you just don’t want to let good characters go. Obsession Falls was action packed, our heroine took charge of her own life and made it work for her, and there’s even a bit of a love interest for her, although that was the weakest part of the plot. She was strong enough to get through everything on her own so it kind of annoyed me when a man tried to take charge and “save” her. Luckily it annoyed Taylor too! This book can be read as a stand alone, but Virtue Falls was a fun book to read if you want to start at the beginning.
No one cares that she she could use a knife ...or not. No one cares that she would not like her bed in the foreat...even tho her father taught her to make her own shelter...lets have some story....so far all ive read about isthat means a story isthat she wanted to draw...she witnessed hit men meaninf to kill aa child..she drew their attention away from the child and then ran and hid in a cave
Christina Dodd did it again, this novel & the storyline were both very captivating & appropriately thrilling. I loved all of the characters, both the originals from the first novel & the new ones we were introduced to. She did a wonderful job of describing the details of every scene. The one thing that bothered me about the book was that at first it seemed to go at a slow pace, later I understood why. But then when the book caught on & continued it seemed to have sped up on some parts. Like you're reading a certain part & you're like, "wait a minute when did that happen." So then you have to back track & re-read parts. Other than that I loved it. & that twist made my jaw drop, it makes me wonder what's going to happen next... That is IF something is going to happen next.
This is a fantastic book. I love how Dodd can have me on the edge of my seat and make me laugh out loud at the same time. Taylor Summers/Summer Leigh is a strong, smart, resourceful and likeable character. She experiences a lot of tough circumstances but she doesn't wallow. She pushes on and keeps some of her sense of humor which made me like her all the more. I loved to see the developing friendship of Summer and Kateri and look forward to seeing where Kateri's story goes. Dodd writes Kennedy McManus in a way that a character who could come off as creepy is endearing. You understand his obsession with Summer and his strong desire to protect his family. "Jimmy" is a well crafted villain whom you pity while simultaneously wanting someone to take him down. I really enjoyed the first Virtue Falls novel and I think this one is even better.
"Obsession Falls" by Christina Dodd is the second book in this series. It can be a read alone, since this is my first read of this series, but it was such a great story that I want to go back and read the first book "Virtue Falls" which is the name of the town. Taylor Summers returns to the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho hoping to use her artistic talents, but she realizes that something else is going on. Taylor finds that unless she does acts quickly she could be a witness to a young boy's murder. Without hesitation, Taylor sacrifices her own safety to help the child. From that moment on her destiny will be changed.
Ms. Dodd has weaved a tale of suspense and exhilaration that only begs the question, "When will the next book be out?" I was totally enthralled!
POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT I am a huge fan of Christina Dodd, this book threw me for a real loop. The suspense and mystery are outstanding but I struggled with the brutality, it may have been necessary to the story but it was hard for me to get through. I'm leaving this one with a question mark ???
A great book, Excitment from page one. Very likeable main characters, and an enjoyable revisit to Virtue Falls.
This is an excellent book that follows Virtue Falls. Taylor Summers is the main character and has unwittingly become a pawn in a game played by the evil Michael Gracie and the philanthropist Kennedy McManus. She is both enchanted by and fearful of Gracie but fell in love with McManus even though he was not very emotional and wanted to do things his way. She and Kateri Kwinault, formerly with the Coast Guard and now the town librarian, worked out a plan to finally rid the world of Gracie. When she saw a body floating in the ocean amid the helicopter wreckage, she assumed it was Gracie. But was it?
Wow!! What a great read - highly recommend Just finished this book - a real page turner. Am waiting expectantly for the next in the series - hopefully there will be a next.
This is the first book I have read of Christina Dodd. Wow! What a series of twists and turns. Taylor Summers needed to find herself. She went back to the one place she thought that she would be able to do that, Wildrose Valley. When she stumbles on a bad situation, she does what she knows is right, even if it puts her life in danger. Trying to clear her name is going to be a rough one. Taylor reinvents herself to Summer and had to endure trial after trial. She survives but at what cost? She is always looking over her shoulder. When again she is in the wrong place at the wrong time thinking she is going to help save someone, more of the story unfolds. Can she ever find the truth? Will she ever be able to be Taylor again?
A handful of books are so good that you know you’ll read them again – Obsession Falls is one of those books. Christina Dodd has created a story that I didn’t want to put down—and didn’t. The main character and story lines are so compelling that I wanted to stay with the story--even after it ended! By Saturday night, I was both emotionally raw and content. I had experienced the harshness of our climate, the fear of possible death, the majesty of nature, the unpredictability of evil, the satisfaction of survival, the strength from self-discovery, and the warmth of true friendship. It’s a story about good and evil and about survival of the human spirit. The main character, Taylor Summers, conquers such adversity (from both nature and people) that I found myself wondering how she would overcome the next obstacle, what the consequences would be and what she would need to give up. The story is as much about the struggle of her internal fortitude, as the plot itself. Just when her life appears to be back in control, she experiences another hardship. The inside cover is a great summary of the plotline. Dodd has created quirky, lovable supporting characters that you would never expect to cross paths--every one of them has his/her own story that is not at all common. But somehow, they all work together to lift each other throughout the story. They have depth and wit and charm—you know you’d love to have some of them as your own friends. Her characters reenter the story when you think they are gone, and new ones emerge unexpectedly. By the middle of the book, I found myself asking how I would handle the same adversity & situations—would I be as resourceful and bold and daring as the main character? How I would handle similar situations—could I face evil with such quickness and clarity of thought? So as I discovered what happened to Taylor Summers, I also learned about myself – Dodd’s skill in bringing the reader to that point is exceptional. When Taylor encounters her antagonists, they are not readily apparent. Even though there is a wee bit of foreshadowing, it is not enough to spoil the surprise of the story line, so the reader still feels invested in the plot. And the plot line has lots of twists and turns and changes of setting that Dodd has skillfully woven together. The reader is always “in the moment”—there’s little fluff that doesn’t contribute to the storyline. By the end of the book, good and evil are clearly apparent, but the way they are manifested makes you look at your own world a little differently. And that’s from my first read…wonder what I’ll discover the next time around…
Wonderful Suspense Thriller. I absolutely loved reading this novel on my two days off. It is non-stop suspense from the very first chapter to the very end of the book. If you are looking for suspense and unexpected turns, then this is a book you must add to your to-be-read pile. It is nice to read a book that captivates you within the first few pages, that you do not want to put it down for a second. I enjoyed the main female character, Taylor, by being a strong, almost take charge type who is not afraid to do what needs to be done, no matter what the outcome could be.
This is a stay up all night, on the edge of your seat read. I loved this book. The plot was thrilling and made you read it in one sitting. I would definitely recommend this book and can't wait for the next one to come out.
Not her usual romance but a non-stop action adventure! I couldn't put it down! gqqfier15
Loved the video game angle and the survival aspects.
Obsession Falls is the next book in the Virtue Falls series by Christina Dodd. I enjoyed the first book and was psyched to get this one...I blew through it in one weekend and it took me a while to write this review b/c I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Taylor Summers is out in the mountains trying to "get her art on" when she hears a man's voice talking about dumping a body followed by a child's scream. She does what I hope I could do in this instance and tries to save the boy. Since no good deed goes unpunished, she's now on the run for her life - breaking & entering, surviving the wilderness and realizing she can't go back to her old life. I really liked the idea of this book but somehow it fell short for me - I'd be reading and thinking - it would be so much better if she did this, or if this happened instead. I am a big romantic suspense lover - Jayne Ann Krentz - Nora Roberts, but I wasn't feeling the romance in this suspense-filled novel. The hero never met the heroine but is in love with her. It just made no sense to me - I was not feeling the chemistry in this one. For those who don't want a traditional alpha man saves woman while woman helps out, this could be the book for you - I'm pretty sure the H/H didn't even truly meet until halfway through the book and Taylor/Summer takes care of herself all by herself. Which is so much better than a TSTL heroine. :) The biggest draw on this book for me was Kateri. I really loved reading more about Kateri and want her to have her HEA.
Taylor Summer, an interior designer, does not really know what she wants in life. So she travels to her childhood home in order to visit and draw the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. There she hopes to find what is missing. When she is sketching the mountains, she stumbles upon the attempted murder of a young boy, the nephew of Kennedy McManus. In an attempt to save the boy, she jeopardizes her own life. Fourteenths, she is in survival mode. First, surviving the brutal cold of the mountains in winter, then running after seeing the murder of a man in Michael Gracie's wine cellar. Her running takes her to Virtue Falls where she is taken in by Katarina when she is suffering from hypothermia. Taylor Summer becomes Summer Leigh and she begins the ordeal of clearing her name with McManus. There are so many twists and turns in this story. You never know what will be popping up when you turn the next corner. Many of the characters from the first novel, Virtue Falls, play a prominent role in this novel. The story ending leaves an opening for a third and possibly a fourth novel. I sure hope there is a third novel. Keep then coming!!
AJ's Review: Obsession Falls by Christina Dodd simply blew my mind. Ms. Dodd has penned a heart-pounding, dark, gritty, intense, action-packed story that will leave you breathless, intrigued, and a little fearful of the dark. While the scenery is at times majestic, it's also dangerous and full of murderers. In an effort to be a good Samaritan, Taylor Summers, finds herself in a dangerous, sophisticated game of cat and mouse. The only question that remains is whose the cat and whose the mouse because this heroine is no damsel in distress. She's strong, witty, intelligent, and most of all a survivor and it's her survivor skills that will make her opponents stand up and take notice. Ms. Dodd held me mesmerized from page one with the cunning wit of the bad guys, while leaving me sitting on pins and needles wondering whether or not Taylor would survive. But survive she did, as Obsession Falls took me on an emotional roller coaster ride of a life time. I felt Taylor's fear, angst, in-decision, hunger, sleep deprivation, hallucinations, and anger at her situation and the people who had betrayed her. But I also reveled when she went from being the hunted to the hunter. I couldn't help by admire her strength and willingness to survive in order to clear her good name. Jimmy Brachler was simply diabolical. He never apologized for his ruthlessness or cold-hearted ability to kill anyone he feared had crossed him or disappointed him. Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he was two sides of a coin that when flipped, you never knew what you were going to get. Nice Jimmy who at times showed a hint a mercy, or psychotic Jimmy who would drop you where you stood without blinking an eye. There was no room for error in Jimmy's life, only revenge. That is...until he became obsessed with Taylor Summers. Kennedy McManus was a force to be reckoned with on any given day, but when it came to Taylor Summers, there were no boundaries he wasn't willing to cross in order to keep her safe, as well as his family. Equally intelligent and as ruthless as Jimmy, both men were determined to win the Empire of Fire game, as well as Taylor's love. But only one will be the victor. Guess you'll have to the read the book to find out. Obsession Falls started out with a bang, literally, and continued to rev this readers engine until the final showdown. Ms. Dodd does an amazing job of giving the heroine, reader, and villain, a false sense of security, which only increases the level of angst and trepidation throughout the story. Who is friend and who is foe? That's the question Taylor Summers has to answer in order to win the game and therefore her life. The story is told from all angles which allows the reader to know as much as any of the characters, but Christina Dodd still adds a few bumps in the road that will keep you and the characters guessing until the very end and then some. :) The secondary characters were full of life and simply leaped off the pages. I definitely want to know more about Rainbow, Kateri, Luis, and Garik. Their stories intrigue me as much as Taylor's and the town 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!
Loved the book...read it pretty quickly because it flowed very well. I was hooked from the first few pages and thought it was imaginative and interesting from the start. I really liked Taylor/Summer's character. I found her to be strong, resilient, resourceful yet fallible. She took the responsibility of saving herself instead waiting on others. I liked reading about Kateri as well, and hopes she finds what she is looking for in the next book. Would definitely recommend this as a good read. From A-bibliophile.
From the description of the book I really expected more romance. What a pleasant surprise to find a great thriller with a town full of interesting characters. I read Obession Falls before Virtue Falls which left me feeling like I was missing some interesting details. When Kateri was first introduced in OF I assumed she was old and failing, after reading VF I have a very different picture of her in my mind. BTW she is one of my favorite characters. So if you haven't read VF yet get a copy and add color to your enjoyment of OB. Read this book in 2 evenings and am planning to read it again right before the next book in the series is released. I don't know when it will be released or who the main characters will be, but I can hardly wait for the next book.