by Ted Dekker

Paperback, 2006



Call number



West Bow Press/T. Nelson (2006), 400 pages


Stephen Friedman is making a good living in good times. He's just an ordinary guy. Or so he thinks. But one day an extraordinary piece of information tells him differently. It's a clue from the grave of a Holocaust survivor. A clue that makes him heir to an incredible fortune . . . a clue that only he and one other man can possibly understand. That man is Roth Braun, a serial killer who has been waiting for Stephen for thirty years. Roth was stopped once before. This time nothing will get in his way. Known worldwide for page-turning, adrenaline-laced thrillers, Dekker raises the stakes in this story of passion, revenge, and an all-consuming obsession for the ultimate treasure.


Original language



1595540318 / 9781595540317



User reviews

LibraryThing member lwalters
Are you obsessed? You probably are, though you may not realize it. Just how deeply do you obsess over certain things, causes, etc.

The two main characters of this novel are definitely obsessed. Roth Braun knows he is obsessed with power. Stephen Friedman comes to find out that he is obsessed with
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finding out his true identity and ultimately his soul mate.

The obsessions of this plot start in a World War II concentration camp. Two mothers are in a life and death struggle against the commandant and his son. Liberation by the Russians brings a respite but not a conclusion.

The conclusion comes in 1973 after a laborious effort to uncover a holocaust survivor’s treasure located in a Los Angeles apartment building. The treasure forces Stephen to follow Braun to his lair in Germany and then Poland. Most of the work focuses on Stephen’s efforts to obtain the treasure in the apartment building. But the plot moves very rapidly after the reader is taken to Germany.

The plot has several surprises sprinkled throughout. Esther and Ruth were the most notable to me. I am normally a very slow reader. A 380-page work will normally keep me busy for three weeks or more. I got caught up in the obsession and read the entire thing in about three sittings.

The story does have its weaknesses. One sub-plot based on serial killings doesn’t seem to have much of a purpose other than to further develop Braun’s character. A couple of situations are unrealistic, especially Stephen’s endeavor to pass off as a female building inspector. But then again, he is obsessed.

One thing of which more conservative Christian readers should beware is that the Braun is an exceedingly dark antagonist and the story follows from the concentration camps to the conclusion accordingly. However, the ending is redeeming.

Obsessed is perhaps some of the best fiction I have ever read in that I think I got the overall “point” of the story. I constantly found myself thinking, “What really drives me to take the actions that I do?”
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LibraryThing member hpluver07
This book was another page-turner! you just have to know what happens to the main character as soon as you pick up the book!
LibraryThing member Madcow299
Another good book by Ted Dekker; its action was riveting and the pace of the story was good. I found some of the actions of the characters a little unrealistic and in particular the background of the villain and his motivations were not properly explained in my estimation and so it let to a lot of
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inference and guessing by the reader. Overall though a very good story that kept my attention and kept me guessing till the end exactly how it would all turn out. For a piece of religious themed fiction it was not overly preachy and had no gratuitous mentions of God and Christianity.
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LibraryThing member fingerpost
When the protagonist in a thriller is an everyman, like Stephen Friedman, in Obsessed, the author has a big challenge: This character must choose to do things that a rational human being would not do, yet it must be believable to the reader. This has been a dificulty for Dekker in several of his
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books that I've read, and is again here. I never felt that Stephen had sufficient motivation for the insane things he chose to do.

In the third Lord of the Rings book, there is an excrutiating episode in which there is a battle. When the enemey breaches a wall, the heroes retreat behind another wall. The enemy breaches that wall, and the heroes retreat behind another wall. Although Lord of the Rings is one of the great classics of literature, I found this particular battle a bit tedious, as I read the same thing over and over. The middle of "Obsessed" has that problem as well. Stephen must break into a house to gain access to a safe. He tries and is foiled. He tries again and is foiled again. He tries again and is foiled again. It just goes on for one or two more times than is beneficial to the story.

In spite of these problems, and in spite of the fact that I'm not a Christian myself, I still liked the book all right, and will read more Dekker. I hope some of his other books measure up to his Circle Trilogy, which was amazing.
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LibraryThing member leo26
great book ! lotts of history, cant imagine having to live through those days of the camps. so sad. but good ending.
LibraryThing member sensitivemuse
This has been an addictive page turner. It's kept me on pins and needles. There were times where I couldn't bear to turn the page because I just didn't want to know if the character was going to encounter an ugly end, or a great success. However I just had to keep going and read it because I really
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wanted to know what happened. The action and the plot were well written and it just keeps you on edge. It's been a very suspenseful plot and a very thrilling ride.

Stephen as a character is what makes the story funny and keeps the action going as he keeps on pressing towards his goal. I say it's funny because there were just things Stephen had to do which just made me laugh out loud. Roth on the other hand, makes the story very chilling and dark, he's your average villain, but add more evil (about 3 cups) and take away the soul and you get Roth. I have never read a villain such as this and he would most likely end up on my top ten villain list. He was just very real, and oozes evil (he even has the black ensemble to match it). Of all the characters mentioned though, I liked Ruth. Her strength, and her ability to see the good and be able to hold onto hope even when she was surrounded by death and hopelessness was very admirable.

Considering the author is known more for his Christian fiction, and he does make references to faith and God in his works, the book did not seem preachy at all. It did not get in the way of the plot. So those who aren't into Christian fiction like I am, the story really has nothing to do with God, or anything of any religious denomination. Just read it for the plot, and the spine chilling events. You'll be a satisfied reader like I was.

What frustrated me about the story is certain parts of the book where the characters decide to just stop and hesitate and think about what they're doing when they should be running out the door and running like hell. I don't get it. I felt like jumping in and kicking them towards the exit and to stop thinking and blubbering like idiots. It was extremely frustrating and annoying.

Overall though, an excellent page turner with all the right plot twists and thrilling moments at the right times. Give this a read if you want a great thrilling ride.
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LibraryThing member MomsterBookworm
An obsessive read.... of the page-turner variety, that is. A story spanning three decades, beginning in a Nazi concentration camp in World War II, where unspeakable horrors unfold, and culminating in hunt for a Jewish relic. Two factions collide and face off in their quest for this artifact: same
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goal, different motives, one obsession.
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LibraryThing member Carol420
The adventure begins when an article in a newspaper convinces Stephen that he is the son of Rachel Spritzer, who had recently died, leaving behind one of the very valuable Stones of David, believed to be one of the five Stones chosen by David to kill the giant Goliath. Obsessed with finding the
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rest of the Stones, Stephen will go to any lengths to secure the treasure and discover his past. To complicate matters, Roth has also learned of the Stones and is able to buy Rachel Spritzer's house before Stephen is able to. Convinced that clues to what they seek are hidden in her house, both men are working feverishly to find them before the other can.

The pages are filled with twists as unexpected as always, action, adventure, mystery, and a bit of romance. If you enjoy this is book, I'd also suggest "Blink", "Thr3e", and his "Circle Trilogy".
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LibraryThing member Emmel09
A good thriller
LibraryThing member ninetythree
Incredible allegory to Christ's crazy love for us!

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