Bantam, Jan 2001, 5.99, 361 pp.
Everyone who knew Jill McPhearson wonders why she gave up her TV news anchor career and her engagement to Christopher “the sexiest man alive” Edwards to return to her home in Martha's Vineyard. Jill knows that behind the façade of the contented anchorwoman was an unhappy person. Her move turns blissful when she falls in love and marries carpenter Ben Niles.
However, a serpent enters Eden when the police arrest Ben for child molestation. The alleged victim Mindy is not even a teen, but is the granddaughter of Ben's enemy Dave Ashenbach. Ben and Mindy know the truth, but will his beloved Jill trust and believe his cry of innocence or will she join the horde of so-called friends and neighbors ready to guillotine Ben?
OFF SEASON is a great tale that treats its dual serious topics, genuine child molestation and the off shoot of false accusation of that ugly crime, with the proper perspective. The story line brings home to the reader the repulsive nature of a real incident as well as the impact of a false accusation. The plot works on may levels because the characters and their interrelationships feel just like neighbors to the audience. The aftermath of Mindy's accusation leaves the audience feeling empathy towards Ben and Jill, and sympathy towards the little girl. This awesome author leaves no stone unturned in providing an exciting, educating novel enlightening that will bring the writer many kudos and awards.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner