A family torn apart.
A community besieged by hatred and fear.
A father’s worst nightmare.
In a community gripped by fear, tragedy begins with a whisper, a rumor, an accusation. Sex Offender Lives Here is a suspenseful tale of divorce, child custody battles, and America’s obsession with sex crimes and predators.
Once, Fletcher Geffney had everything: a lovely wife, wealthy and influential in-laws, an estimable literary career. Now he stands to lose it all, including his 10-year-old son Christopher, after his wife makes a series of alarming accusations in the course of a preliminary child custody hearing.
Under normal circumstances, Fletcher might have successfully defended himself against criminal charges he insists are false and unfounded: the statutory rape of a 15-year-old fashion model, possession of child pornography and endangering the welfare of a minor.
But these are uncommon times. The Balloon Man, a sexual predator with a capacity for almost supernatural stealth and savagery, is preying on children. Even as the Balloon Man’s reign of terror unleashes a frenzy of outrage and fear across several states, an opportunistic local politician seizes on Fletcher’s newsworthy predicament to campaign for new and frankly unconstitutional enhancements to his state s registry system for convicted sex felons. In response, the controversial leader of an advocacy group called Sex Offenders Solidarity (SOS) seeks to make Fletcher the public face for the legal and social plight of sex offenders.
Soon persecuted felons, some dangerous and some merely abject victims of circumstance, begin showing up at Fletcher’s door seeking shelter and safety in numbers. Fletcher’s neighbors grow restive, then openly hostile. With unnerving swiftness, Fletcher finds himself at ground zero in a pitched battle between an agitated, frightened citizenry and a shadowy underground of deviants and criminals. Out of options and out of time, Fletcher conceives a plan to kidnap his son from his wife and flee the country. But a final, tragic event triggers a deadly escalation of violence.
Sex Offender Lives Here is the story of a father’s worst nightmare. It is also the story of a father’s redemptive love for his son and his struggle to come to terms with the mistakes he has made in his life. Harry Ramble’s debut novel is a tale told with passion and keen moral clarity, dark humor and unsparing insight.