Shelley Sessions was a young teenager when her rich, powerful, charismatic and manipulative adopted father, Bobby Sessions began to sexually molest, and shortly thereafter, to rape her. I do not want to give away DARK OBSESSION's entire plot, but suffice it to say the story involves Shelley's kidnapping and virtual imprisonment; a mental hospital that functioned basically as a country club and which provided about as much therapy; and a series of deluded religious fundamentalists who feel that 16 year old Shelley bears as much blame for her own sexual abuse as her incestuous rapist/father. It also covers in comprehensive, but not prurient, detail Shelley's mistreatment (which is massive, continuing, and committed by both of her parents) as well as Shelley's unlikely vindication. DARK OBSESSION co-authored by Shelley Sessions and journalist Peter Meyer is amazingly well written. Meyer tells the story in the third person, but first person quotes by Shelley are interwoven with and compliment Meyer's narrative. Other relatives, friends and acquaintances of the Sessions are also quoted extensively to supplement Meyer's narrative which is the framework of the book. The quotes are clearly real - the result of substantial interviewing - as opposed to the false or "reconstructed" quotes often found in true crime. There is not a false note in this book, and you will not want to put it down. DARK OBSESSION is not really straight true crime. It is more a combination of true crime and a memoir. There is no detective work - and no detectives - and the courtroom scene at the end is brief, presents new rather than re-hashed information, and is actually the dramatic culmanation of the whole book. There is also, unfortunately, no picture section. Regardless of how it's labeled, true crime fans and non-fans alike will love this book.
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