FIRST OFFENSE by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg


Email this review


 A bestselling track record and some hot sex scenarios can't mask the fact that Rosenberg's latest legal-action thriller is a clunker. When her highway patrolman husband, Hank, disappeared, probation officer Ann Carlisle came apart at the seams. Now, four years later, her 12-year-old son, David, has nightmares, wets his bed, and is eating himself into a fat slug. But Ann is beginning to get her life back. She's dating rugged, ostentatiously wealthy assistant DA Glen Hopkins, whose mama is a powerhouse judge, and though David hates him, the sex is great; they even do it in the stairwell of the courthouse. Then Ann is shot outside the courthouse, and again her world turns upside down. Ann's probationer Jimmy Sawyer, a drug dealer who saved her life, is charged with the crime and immediately smears Ann, saying they had an affair that went sour. Ann is getting harassing phone calls from a man who sounds like Hank, and she is forced to remember that her marriage was less than idyllic. Hank liked to smack her around--but did he shoot her? Ann fears she'll antagonize Glen because she's uncovered evidence that may free a rapist he's locked up, and Tommy Reed, a macho Keystone-like cop, smothers her with concern. Like assistant DA Lily Forrester of Mitigating Circumstances (1993), who kills the man she thinks raped her and her daughter, Ann is a victim who tries to go on the offensive. But her actions are obscured by her girlish, namby-pamby ways and her deference to the men she loves. Rosenberg is a former probation officer whose obnoxious promo material tells us she was raped in college and therefore knows how victims feel. She offers a glimpse into a probation officer's gritty day-to-day activities, but it's not very interesting. Cartoon characters, psychobabble, and a helpless heroine who's oblivious to the culprit right under her nose. Skip the book and wait to rent the movie on a very slow weekend. (Literary Guild main selection; author tour)

Pub Date: Aug. 8th, 1994
ISBN: 0-525-93853-2
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1994


FictionREVENGE OF INNOCENTS by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
FictionSULLIVAN’S LAW by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
FictionCONFLICT OF INTEREST by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg


MysterySLY FOX by Jeanine Pirro
by Jeanine Pirro