False Pretenses, by Kathy Herman (David C. Cook, 2011)
“I know what you did.”
The anonymous note jeopardizes all Zoe Broussard has so carefully built: a new life, a thriving Cajun eatery in a small Louisiana town, and a happy marriage.
Because it’s all built on lies.
As Zoe tries to keep her personal life from exploding, a murder rocks the town and ignites racial tension. If the killer isn’t found fast, will the police be able to stop race riots?
Zoe’s new friend and tenant, Vanessa, will be familiar to fans of Kathy Herman’s Sophie Trace series: she’s Police Chief Brill Jessup’s daughter, and we met her in The Last Word. If you’re planning to read book 3 in that series, The Right Call, read it before False Pretenses or you’ll learn how things work out.
False Pretenses offers the good things I expect from a Kathy Herman novel: believable characters and relationships, danger and suspense. Zoe’s lies, theft, cover-up and abusive past make her who she is. And they’ve caused the crisis she’s now desperate to solve.
The novel is a good, fast read. I enjoyed the Cajun setting, and would love the chance to sample the cuisine at Zoe B’s. And it was fun to discover the secret of the historic home Vanessa is renovating. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the swiftness and accuracy of DNA test results.
False Pretenses is the first in Kathy Herman’s new series, Secrets of Roux River Bayou. I’m glad there’ll be more stories, because I’d like to spend more time with these characters. Book two is called A Dangerous Mercy and will release in October 2011.
There’s a book trailer for False Pretenses, and you can learn more about Kathy Herman at her website or find her on Facebook.
[review copy source: public library]