The Off Season by Colleen Thompson

51Qpi3LFX7L._SY346_The number of intriguing uncertainties in THE OFF SEASON continues to mount with each turn of the page. Cleverly disguised hints might point toward troubling events going in one direction, but frequently a new fact learned quickly changed my mind. I always enjoy when a story packed with mysteries keeps me guessing as to how things will end, and Colleen Thompson masterfully had my thoughts jumping from one speculation to another. The list of suspects grows when a certain person could be responsible for what is currently happening to a Seaside Creek physician. But I came to understand nothing is concrete until absolutely proven true, and getting all the needed information is often complicated. With the police diligently working on the increasingly violent incidents taking place in Dr. Christina Paxton’s life, it becomes a race against the clock to find those guilty of the crimes or lives could possibly be lost.

Moving back to New Jersey seemed like the best way for Dr. Christina Paxton to begin a new chapter in her life after the death of her husband. Presently, the doctor is working in an emergency room and is watching over a vacation home by living there with her young daughter, thus giving her more time to hunt for a permanent residence. With most of houses along the coastline empty since it is winter, the area is rather creepy at night. When her toddler speaks some words that she should not know, Christina wonders what caused Lilly to utter the terrifying comments, and being in the house with no close neighbors makes her feel even more disturbed.

Another strange occurrence leaves Christina very frightened when there is no rational explanation. The police chief of Seaside Creek shows up shortly thereafter when called by her security system company, but Harris Bowers is not someone whom she wishes to see. There is a good reason for never wanting to reconnect with him, but with the town’s small police force, she is stuck dealing with him. Clues seem to point toward the threats as perhaps being personal. But as each hour passes, Christina only becomes more confused as Harris tries to make sense of what he uncovers.

There are several scenes in THE OFF SEASON that truly had me feeling the spookiness of the situation. The remarks made by Christina’s daughter gave me the shivers, as Colleen Thompson makes the circumstances come across as very convincing and definitely unsettling. The author has a gift for making every incidence in the story very realistic with lots of colorful descriptions, and these vivid images had me feeling as though I was living through the episodes, too. So much is unknown from the very start of the story, and the many puzzles are extremely difficult to solve.

While much of the story is focused on the many mysteries that keep cropping up, Harris and Christina are trying to work through a huge group of issues. The past greatly affects both of them when they meet up again, and anything having to do with romance seems very unlikely. But as the couple try to discover what is actually going on, feelings between them turn more personal. These two have suffered tragedies, ones which still influence them and make them vulnerable to self-doubts. I really felt for Harris and Christina, especially when they tried to make sense of a situation that caused constant bewilderment or heartache. Colleen Thompson knows how to create imaginative stories of suspense, and THE OFF SEASON is chillingly believable.

Received copy from NetGalley

Publisher:  Montlake Romance

Releases:  September 13, 2016


Genre:  Suspense

Author website:

Rating:  5 Stars