Wednesday, November 8, 2017

M. William Phelps’s Obsessed [Book Review]

Originally posted 22 Feb 2017


As an avid reader of anything true crime related, I am also a avid viewer of true crime shows. If told right, the show can keep you guessing even if you know who did it.

I became, and still am, a fan of Ann Rule. This lady could write a true crime novel like nobody else. I also enjoyed ficitonal work of Patricia Cornwell (All That RemainsPostmortemBody of Evidence). Rule’s books included The Stranger Beside Me (the story of Ted Bundy), Green River Running Red (about the Green River Killer), Too Late To Say Goodbye (about Bart Corbin who killed both his wives), and my favorite Everything She Every Wanted (the story of Pat Allison).


I am a huge fan of the Investigation Discovery channel which is dedicated to nothing but true crimes. Some of the shows on this channel are; Web of Lies, Deadly Women, Deadly Sins, Fatal Vows, Evil Kin, Deadly Devotion, Fear Thy Neighbor and A Stranger In My Home to name a few of their original on-going programs. I’m partial to Deadly WomanDeadly Sins, and Evil Kin. They also have a slew of new shows such as Murder Calls, Murder Choose Me, Vanity Fair Confidential, Your Worst Nightmare and my absolutely favorite A Crime To Remember. I recommend doing research on these shows, download the ID GO app from iTunes of Google Play, and watch these shows as well as other shows they have.

It’s from a number of these shows that I learned of true crime writer M. William Phelps. I think the first time I saw was on an episode of Deadly Women. After seeing him on a few episodes I did research on some his books and looked up reviews, some of which weren’t that good, to see if his books would be of interest to me. Because of the bad reviews I read,  I decided not to give his books a chance. We are now a few years past and he’s on more Investigation Discovery shows, or ID for short, and I’m becoming more and more interested in reading his books, despite some of the bad reviews I read.


I began doing research on his books and ready synopsis to find out what grabs me as my first dive into he M. William Phelps arena of true crime novels and came across Obsessed and boy am I glad I ignored the 3.82 rating given to the book on Goodreads. I felt that if I based on what I was going to read of watch on other’s opinions, I wouldn’t be reading nor watching anything. Yes, I do take the bad reviews in account along with the good reviews and then form my own opinion after reading the book or watching the show.

I purchased the book on my Kindle and started reading straight away and became hooked immediately.
Synopsis of the book Obsessed: 

Sheila Davalloo was young, attractive, and successful. When she started a new job at a cutting-edge research lab in Stamford, Connecticut, she met the man of her dreams. Nelson Sessler had no idea how violently Sheila would react when he began seeing a co-worker, Anna Lisa Raymundo. Sheila eliminated her rival in a bloody knife attack–and then turned her rage on another victim she saw as an obstacle to her passions. M. Williams Phelps recounts the riveting story of a white-collar love triangle gone horribly wrong. . .and the terrifying infatuation that drove one woman to kill”(Source: Amazon)


As with Ann Rule, Phelps has a way of making you feel like you are there. You know who did it, or you think you do, but you wonder why they committed the crime. My thoughts on murderers is when did logic and self control leave their minds?

We all have made the remark of wanting to kill someone, but how many of us mean it. How many of us would be so obsessed over someone or something that it would cause us to think that taking a life is OK because, well in the end, we are going to get what we want, which is either that person we killed for or that thing we thought was worth killing for.

The book starts out with bang by explaining the scene in the victim’s apartment (Anna Lisa Raymundo).  The last thing I see or read will always creep into my dreams, I had to stop reading the book at night. I would only read the book during the day. But this stopped after a while, and reading at night no long was an issue. That didn’t last long. Once I got past the description of the bloody scene and started in on the story this became my go-to book before turning out the lights for the night.


Phelps gives enough description of the characters as he does with a place or a particular scene. Phelps also does a great job going from the present to the past back to present. He gets your attention and then keeps you wanting more.


Even though I had my strong suspicion on who killed Anna Lisa, there were times I wasn’t sure. Phelps kept you guessing while revealing who the killer is or giving strong indications of who it is. How could Paul fall for the lies on quite a few occasions, each one getting more and more outlandish. In one instance she told Paul he had take any thing that showed signs of a man being in the house to his hotel. While reading this I’m wondering why isn’t Paul questioning Sheila. Why is Paul allowing Shelia to dictate what he does without fighting back or at best question her? Side note, the brother Shelia was having over was really Nelson Sessler.

If it wasn’t for Shelia’s attempted murder on Paul, they would have never found out who killed Anna Lisa. But it took another 10 years for the trial to take place.

I highly recommend this book to any true crime reader. If you’re missing the days of Ann Rule, you now have M. William Phelps to lean on.

Title: Obsessed
Author: M. William Phelps
Published: 4 March 2014
Publisher: Pinnacle
Pages: 512
Available formats: Paperback, ebook, audible
Available sites: AmazonBarnes and NobeliBooks

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