Posted in 2 1/2 paws, Monday, mystery, Review on May 23, 2016


offside cover


In 2006, amid the great real estate bubble, Rick Hermannik, an adult referee of youth soccer, is found murdered in a ritzy Los Angeles suburb, his whistle left in an unnatural place. Suspicion quickly falls upon volunteer coach Diego Diaz, a one-time gang member whose hot Latino rant over an offside call pops up on YouTube. The media eagerly pursue the delicious story line of out-of-control soccer parents. Case closed–until the boyfriend of Diaz’s grown daughter, Hector Rivera, a former high school soccer star but now a college dropout in a dead-end job, tries to figure out the truth, and himself.


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I’d give this somewhere between 2 to 3 stars.  Overall the plot was interesting but it got muddied down at the beginning.  The murder didn’t happen until a third of the way through and a lot of that beginning third could have been trimmed out.  Yes some of it was necessary for some background and to tie in later facts germane to the story, but I skimmed through a bunch of it.  Plus there were pages of articles from a journalist in there that could have been cut out.  I couldn’t find a point to those articles other than some history…but once again they could have been shorter or summarized.

Now I have an advantage to having worked in the mortgage lending business that I understood a lot of the terminology about how loans were recorded etc and am very familiar with the mortgage loan crisis, but I think that while we needed to know some of the information to tie the story together, not all of it was necessary.

This could be a good series with some editing.


offside teaser 1


About the Author

william barrettChronicling a wide cross-section of the human condition, William P. Barrett has worked as an award-winning journalist across the country and abroad for major newspapers and national magazines dating back more than four decades. At various times he’s been a police reporter, court reporter, local government reporter, feature writer, foreign correspondent, national correspondent writing about very small places with very big problems, investigative reporter and business reporter. Barrett’s longest stretch was at Forbes, where his writings illuminated dark sections of the financial world and sent miscreants to prison. A New Jersey native, Barrett holds two degrees from Rutgers, one in law, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder. On the weekends he has refereed youth soccer in the West, including Southern California, for 17 years. Barrett now lives in Seattle. This is his debut novel.

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