Obsession by Patricia Bradley is the second book in the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series. I’ve read a couple of books by Patricia and looked forward to this book because of the interesting setting.
Emma Winters works as a Natchez Trace park ranger and historian. She is overseeing a project to document and preserve the graves of the slaves who had been buried on this historical site. As Emma is getting ready to head home, her day’s about to get a whole lot longer when someone takes a couple of shots at her. Called in to help investigate is her former fiancé Sam Ryker who also works as a park ranger. While things didn’t end well between them, Sam wants to find the person who is targeting Emma and get out before any feelings between them are revived.
I struggled a bit with the novel. I wasn’t too keen on the main character, Emma, she wasn’t a very likable character. She was the independent woman who was also the helpless stubborn female who didn’t want help. Parts of the story seemed rather contrived to keep Emma and Sam in regular contact. There wasn’t a lot about faith in this book. I think the story would have been richer if that aspect of the characters’ lives had been developed. There were three people in the book that struggled with unforgiveness, Emma, Sam, and Sam’s sister Jenny. I would like to have seen at least one of them have a biblical perspective and understanding of forgiveness. Sam did work his way through the unforgiveness he had been harboring.
Something I can’t stand in books is when a character does something really stupid and illogical which puts them at risk and in harm’s way, which Emma did towards the end of the book. When that happens, I stop caring about the character because I feel manipulated and it’s not logical.
The character Sam was likable, but I didn’t understand why he continued to be drawn to Emma. Emma’s continued to blame Sam, and herself, for her brother’s disappearance ten years earlier. That got old really quick! She blamed others instead of recognizing her brother’s own personal responsibility for his life choices and the risks he took.
I liked the character Sheriff Nate Rawling and hope to see him in future books in this series. He seemed to respect and trust the team that he was working with and was there to work alongside them. The Natchez Trace park setting was interesting.
There were a few elements and characters I liked in Obsession, but they were overshadowed by a character and parts of the storyline I didn’t care for.
I would like to thank Revell Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Obsession by Patricia Bradley. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.