A Burning Obsession
reviewed by Pam Guynn
Mike Omer knows how to build suspense, develop characters, add action and atmosphere, and keep readers on the edge of their seats. The third and final book in this series, A Burning Obsession, continues to feature Abby Mullen.
She’s a lieutenant with the New York City hostage negotiation team, a mother of two children, divorced, and she experienced childhood trauma when she was seven. When a series of suspicious fires leaves victims dead in isolated homes, she believes an adult escaped the fires of her childhood and is once again a threat after 30 years. After a lot of research, she contacts the FBI and connects with criminal profiler Zoe Bentley and Agent Tatum Gray. Is Moses Wilcox back in action or are these unrelated fires? What could be their connection?
Abby’s character is well developed. Readers get insight into both her personal and professional lives as well as her strengths and vulnerabilities. They also get great insight into Zoe. Both are strong, successful, and determined women. However, Abby’s childhood has had an impact on her. Can she face her past? Zoe tends to clash with others in authority. She says what she thinks rather than what could be said to get cooperation. Other characters vary in depth, but provide support, conflict, or interest. The author combines concise, clear physical descriptions that are supplemented with demonstrations of their weaknesses.
An intriguing and memorable opening scene will immediately pull most readers into the story. That scene is vivid and painful to imagine. The suspense is built gradually as characters are introduced and readers begin to get a sense of what is to come. When the action started, this reader eagerly turned the pages with nervous anticipation. Who will survive? How will the situation be resolved? What an ending! Will you guess what happens?
This novel is a creative, complex, and well-paced tale with layers and twists that will keep a reader guessing. High stakes and an all-too-real situation kept me engaged throughout the story. There are some shocking and disturbing scenes as it unfolds. The people in the story came to life, and I was cheering on the police as they worked desperately toward a resolution. Themes include work relationships, family relationships, death, abuse, and much more.
Overall, this amazing thriller with intense moments and action kept me turning the pages. There was enough background in the novel that it worked well as a standalone. However, reading the previous books adds background and more insight into Abby’s character. Those who enjoy crime thrillers may want to check out this series. I’m looking forward to reading what Mike Omer writes next.
Thanks to Thomas & Mercer and Mike Omer for a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley and the opportunity to provide an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for November 8, 2022.