Reviews for Obsession: a Teddy Fay novel

Publishers Weekly
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The breezy sixth Teddy Fay thriller from Woods and Battles (following 2021’s Jackpot) sees the former CIA operative and master of disguise switching between his true identity and those of Academy Award–winning actor Mark Weldon and film producer Billy Barnett, both holdovers from old cases. While Teddy works both in front of and behind the camera on the latest action thriller from director Peter Barrington (son of Teddy’s friend Stone Barrington, who holds down his own Woods series and appears here), the opportunity arises for Ben Bachetti, head of the studio producing Peter’s movies, to partner with a company helmed by Croatian tech billionaire Carl Novak. Just before Carl and Ben meet, Carl’s wife Rebecca disappears. A short time later, Carl receives messages indicating that his wife’s kidnapping is payback for an old grievance. With film production hanging in the balance, Stone enlists Teddy to help find Rebecca; amid that investigation, an obsessive fan fixated on one of the film’s stars makes his way to the set and threatens production further. Though this is familiar territory for Teddy, Woods and Battles provide reliable thrills and a smoother ride than in the previous installment. Series fans will celebrate this return to form. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Oct.)

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Teddy Fay steps up to deal with felonious complications on the set of Centurion Studios’ aptly named new project, Storm’s Eye. Tech billionaire Carl Novak is only just starting his own production company, so he has no reason to know that Billy Barnett, the producer of Storm’s Eye, is actually Teddy, a former CIA agent who also moonlights as Oscar-winning actor Mark Weldon. But it’s a lucky thing for him that Teddy’s on hand when Carl’s wife, Rebecca, is kidnapped by Croatian gang leader Zoran Janic, since Teddy’s even more at home hunting down vermin like Janic than he is in the Hollywood scene. Janic claims he’s holding Rebecca for a hefty ransom, but Carl thinks he’s really out for bloody revenge, since he’s convinced that Carl was responsible for his brother’s death. That means both high stakes and a short timeline. As if the abduction weren’t drama enough, Matthew Wagner, a fan who’s been stalking Oscar-winning actor Tessa Tweed Bacchetti, finally succeeds in insinuating himself onto the set, where he plots to make Tessa his own by eliminating her husband, Centurion head Ben Bacchetti. Because he’s Teddy Fay, Teddy picks up the bad vibe from Matthew almost as quickly as he realizes that the kidnapping depends on a contact in Carl’s inner circle. Calculating that he can’t afford to put off dealing with either bad guy because of the imminent (though unrelated) dangers they pose, he resolves to take care of them both on the same night, and does so in a neat one-two punch that leaves one of them sitting in a car outside the other one’s lair before the closer. Battles effortlessly apes the late Woods’ fleet pace and trademark lack of depth. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.