Cranberry Red


When research results in unintended consequences that cause food safety concerns and raise havoc in Ames County. Purchase on Amazon.

From Publishers Weekly:
The fourth title in Apps’s Ames County, Wis., series offers a feel-good slice of 21st-century life in smalltown U.S.A. When his job is eliminated, Ben Wesley had been an Ames County agricultural agent for two decades. After breaking the news to his often difficult wife, Beth, a registered nurse, Ben is offered a more lucrative position as a œresearch application specialist by a new online, for-profit university, which means he has to start charging fees for his services, a change he’s none too happy about. He also has to aggressively market the university’s scientifically developed miracle fruit, Cranberry Red. Claims of improved health from its higher antioxidant content clash with a lack of adequate product testing that leaves its side effects on humans uncertain. Ben has grave concerns, butting heads with Brittani Stone, his ambitious, by-the-book office manager, and seeks the counsel of his old fishing pal, Lars Olson. Despite all the drama, there’s time for such rural staples as the county fair and family cookouts before the truly disturbing aspects of Cranberry Red emerge in Apps’s satisfying outside-the-city-limits tale.  Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:
In the fourth book in the Ames County series, Ben Wesley, an agricultural agent for the past two decades, is suddenly out of work when funding for his program is cut. He’s immediately offered a job with Osborne University, doing pretty much what he did before but charging people for his services. This makes him a little uncomfortable but not nearly as much as Cranberry Red, a new chemical developed by the university’s researchers that could have spectacular benefits for people with heart disease or Alzheimer’s. When it begins to appear that Cranberry Red has some pretty nasty side effects, Ben is faced with a difficult choice: keep his job and find a way to protect the community, or blow the lid off the secret and risk everything. Apps approaches his familiar themes (honor, the importance of community, the increasing threat to traditional farming) from a new angle, focusing on the issue of genetic modification and its impact on an entire way of life. As usual, he creates compelling characters and places them in a vividly realized setting. –David Pitt


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