Primal Obsession by Susan Vaughan (at http://www.susanvaughan.com/) is a tense, exciting mystery set in the Maine woods. Mix the smooth, poetic prose of H. D. Thoreau with the sly suspense of Stephen King, and you have Vaughan’s masterful style.
In Primal Obsession, reporter Annie Wylde has already connected various unsolved murders together, catching the attention of the killer, who finds in her an outlet for his murderous cry for notoriety. But when she decides to scatter the ashes of her best friend, one of his victims, over a placid Maine lake, and leaves the story to a co-worker, the killer becomes enraged.
Sam Kincaid is a burned out, injured major league player whose return to his roots as a wilderness guide only punctuates his sense of defeat. Even when the innuendo-filled banter with Annie is unsuccessful and the hodgepodge mix of vacationers he must guide bicker, he knows this trip will either make or break him. But ‘The Hunter’, as Annie dubbed the serial killer, has decided Annie needs a reprimand, and if it takes killing everyone on the backwoods canoe trip to do it, so be it.
Primal Obsession has all the great story telling of a whodunit, the sophisticated suspense of a master storyteller, and enough twists and turns and surprises to keep the reader enthralled. It’s a big story, both in pages, (369 in trade paperback size), and in depth and plot and is excellent value, promising and delivering a great read. Vaughan uses her finesse at suspense to keep readers guessing up to the end. And her knowledge of the setting is perfect for anyone who enjoys man pitted against nature. Like Rainsford in ‘The Most Dangerous Game’, by Richard Connell, Sam and Annie must either fight back or become easy prey for the ruthless Hunter.
Primal Obsession is an edge-of-your-seat story you won’t want to miss. Vaughan’s characters are realistic people to root for and worry for, right up to the exciting, satisfying conclusion.