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    Review of OBSESSED by Ted Dekker (see his website)

    WestBow, February 2005

    Stephen Friedman invests in real estate and tries not to think too much about his Jewish herritage and the hollocaust. Until he learns that his birth mother--a women he can't remember--was a hollocaust survivor and has recently died. As part of her will, she left one of the five stones of David (the stones he picked for his battle with Goliath) to a hollocaust museum. Stephen (whose birth-name was David) becomes obsessed with the dead woman--and the possibility that the other four stones of David might survive. Together, the five might be worth as much as a hundred million dollars (1973 dollars).

    Since he lost the stones and his genocide journal, Nazi prison leader Gerhard Braun and his son Roth have searched for the stones of David--and for the woman who stole them. When Gerhard sees the newspaper obituary about the dead woman, he sends his son to retrieve the stones--and the journal she stole. Once in America, though, Roth discovers Stephen/David's existance. If Roth can only drink in Stephen's dispair, he stands to gain all of the power his father lost--for the glory of Lucifer.

    Roth launches a cat-and-mouse game with Stephen. Stephen becomes obsessed first with the stones, then with the idea of another orphan--one he had been intended for at birth. If he can find her, he is certain he will know bliss. And leading Stephen to that bliss, then stripping it from him is Roth's idea of the ultimate in power--even more than the serial murder of single Jewish women Roth undertakes while in Los Angeles.

    Author Ted Dekker tells an action-packed story as Stephen battles to stay ahead of Roth's deadly plans--and as Roth plays cat-and-mouse games with him. Dekker switches between occupied Poland in 1944/45 and Los Angeles/Germany/Poland in 1973, allowing the earlier events to influence what happens later. Stephen is enterprising in his attempts to break into his birth-mother's home and recover the treasure in her basement safe--and willing to risk everything to find it. Unfortunately, I didn't find the characters quite equal to the story. Roth is pure evil, but Stephen certainly seemed willing to adopt criminal activities quite quickly. His obsession with Esther--to the detriment of the attractive and potentially interesting Sylvia--doesn't seem quite natural or make him more sympathetic to the reader.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 2/14/05

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