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Author: Ted Dekker
Publisher: Westbow Press
Pages: 382

Ted Dekker is a unique author.  Most authors are content to put out a book a year sometimes only a book every few years, but not Dekker.  In just four years he has released ten books.  Many fans will know him from his recent trilogy of books Black, Red, and White.
Stephen Friedman works in real estate in 1973 Los Angeles, California, living an ordinary life.  After the death of a local Holocaust survivor, Stephen learns some surprising news.  It is this news that ties him in to a set of priceless relics that were thought to be legend, until one of them is donated to a local museum.  The donation proves their existence.  Stephen believes that he is heir to these relics so he does all he can to find them.  Unfortunately, he is not the only one searching for them, so is Roth Braun. Roth and his father have been searching for these relics since they were taken from them several decades ago.  They will do anything to find them, even murder.

This book is different from most suspense thrillers.  Many suspense thrillers are thrilling because the main character is avoiding one life-threatening situation after another.  This book has that but it is mainly suspenseful for a different reason.  "Obsessed" will keep readers in suspense because they care about the characters and in a way become obsessed with the mysteries that Stephen Friedman and Roth Braun are obsessed with. It is these mysteries, these secrets, that make this a book that is tough to put down.

Another unique aspect of this book is how it treats religion.  Many Christian fiction books treat religion in a cliched way as the main character starts off searching for God, finds God, then completes some spiritual quest or task to prove the strength of his/her new Christian life.  Obsessed instead focuses on a Jewish man whose faith is a part of who he is, but not the focus of every page of this story.  Stephen Friedman relies on God to protect him and guide him but his faith could be considered more of an inwardly-focused faith.  This results in a more authentic feel to the way that religion is lived in the life of the characters of this book unlike some books that seek to treat their characters as Christian saints that few readers can relate to.

Readers of this book will find themselves quickly drawn in.  The characters are ones that people will develop strong feelings about and the mysteries will leave people wondering.  This is quite simply the hardest book to put down so far this year. 

Burton Wray 4/2/2005


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