Tag Archives: Kathy Herman

Review: False Pretenses, by Kathy Herman

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]

Review: The Real Enemy, by Kathy Herman

The Real Enemy, by Kathy Herman (David C. Cook, 2009)

As the first female chief of police in the town of Sophie Trace, Brill Jessup expects to have to prove her worth. She doesn’t expect citizens to start disappearing before the paint is dry on her office walls. Now she’s dealing with a territorial sheriff , the FBI, and a panicky town council… not to mention the local superstitions.

It does keep her from having to spend much time with her husband, Kurt, but she knows it’s hard on their daughter, Emily.

Brill is understandably angry over her husband’s one night of infidelity. They’ve agreed to stay together for Emily, but Brill has no interest in rebuilding the marriage.

The novel opens with Brill on the defensive at work and bitter towards her husband—not a sympathetic heroine. She’s very good at her job (the nickname “Brill” is short for “brilliant”) but I found the strength of her anger kept me from really connecting. Kurt is almost too nice, on the other hand. His goal is to overcome the evil he’s caused with good. (The novel’s theme verse is Romans 12:21.)

Nine-year-old Emily (the older kids are away at university) is serious and well-spoken for her age, but there are children like that—and I think her parents’ struggle has matured her beyond her years.

I always enjoy Kathy Herman’s novels, for the suspense and for the relationships. She draws believable characters, and it was partly on the strength of this knowledge that I was comfortable sticking with Brill through the opening pages. I’m glad I did, because I really enjoyed the novel.

The Real Enemy is the first in Kathy Herman’s new Sophie Trace series, and I’m looking forward to reading book 2, The Last Word, and book 3, The Right Call. You can read the prologue and first chapter of The Real Enemy here, and learn more about Kathy here.

Review copy from my personal library.