Cover image for False accusations
False accusations
Jacobson, Alan, 1961-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Pocket Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
405 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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Dr. Phillip Madison's privileged life is turned upside down when he is charged with double homicide in a brutal hit-and-run that takes the lives of a young couple, a crime that is linked to him by forensic evidence and eyewitness testimony and for which he has no alibi.

Author Notes

Alan Jacobson's first novel, False Accusations (Pocket Books) was a national bestseller in paperback. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English Writing form Queens College of the City of New York, and his doctorate from Palmer College of Chiropractic West in San Jose, California. He achieved prominence as an Agreed Medical Examiner, and was subsequently appointed to the position of Qualified Medical Evaluator by the State of California. He has extensive experience testifying as an expert witness, which has exposed him to the many strengths and weaknesses of the judicial system. Dr. Jacobson lives in Northern California.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Sacramento orthopedic surgeon Phillip Madison's only fault is that he is a workaholic. But his perfect life is threatened when he is forced to make a decision regarding an administrative position at a clinic he operates. Rather than offer the job to the temp who is filling in, Brittany Harding, Madison opens the search. Harding takes offense. Via a sequence of seemingly innocuous meetings and conversations, she cleverly builds a circumstantial case of sexual harassment, which she uses to humiliate him in front of his wife and to destroy his reputation. The final straw is a hit-and-run accident in which a woman is killed. The car is clearly Madison's. A chilling look at the awful task of defending oneself against a false allegation made even more disturbing by the amorality and narcissism of virtually all the key characters. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

An apparent hit-and-run accident involving a car he owns results in a charge of vehicular manslaughter against an orthopedic surgeon in this laborious debut by California medical evaluator Jacobson. Two people die in what turns out to be a deliberate killing in a minority neighborhood in Sacramento, and Philip Madison's Mercedes is sighted as the vehicle, although he claims he was home in bed asleep, an alibi he can't prove. After he is arrested, Madison's attorney hires PI Ryan Chandler, an ace forensic investigator who will turn out to be the white knight of this narrative. Madison is already in trouble up to his neck: a beautiful but unstable volunteer worker for a mental health organization that Madison serves as president has suddenly and illogically accused him of rape. In the fallout from Brittany Harding's accusation, Madison's wife leaves him, taking the kids. It becomes clear quickly, as Brittany's emotional problems are drawn in large and stereotypically shrill outline, that she is the real killer. With all tension thus removed from the story, the author trots out some recent technological gains in forensics‘saliva from the rim of a beer can for DNA sampling, retrieving and comparing Brittany's lip prints from a cigarette. There is far too much information about the novel's myriad cast of minor characters; numerous subplots add little to the main story; and a smattering of pharmaceutical and medical jargon essentially extends the slim material but does not enliven it. Moreover, Brittany's vindictive behavior is never explained; she merely acts out of female delusional fantasies. The trial is flat and predictably melodramatic. Jacobson's prose can best be described as wooden and graceless. This clunky attempt proves that forensic knowledge does not a writer make. Foreign rights sold to Denmark, Great Britain, Holland, Germany, Norway and Sweden; author tour. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The evidence leaves no room for doubt that it was Dr. Phillip Madison's car that struck and killed two people in a bad part of town late at night. Madison, a Golden Boy surgeon, has no alibi but insists that he was framed by Brittany Harding, who has an unsavory history of extorting her employers with false accusations of sexual harassment and rape. She had tried to do this with Madison, though her plan fell through. Ryan Chandler, detective and friend of Madison, turns the case around, uncovering some forensic clues that would make Kay Scarpetta proud, including DNA samples from saliva on beer cans found in the car's back seat that incriminate Harding. This reversal sets up a surprise ending, which comes rather late in the game. Even abridged, the story seems padded, as we witness events happen, then go over them again as Chandler finds evidence, and then again during the trial. Jacobson, through reader Zeljko Ivanek, handles aspects of the investigation well, even expertly, but his characters, given to huge chunks of expository speech, are too often simply interchangeable. A marginal purchase.ÄJohn Hiett, Iowa City P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.