Book Review: False Pretenses

15 Oct

Zoe Broussard loves her life. She owns a thriving Cajun eatery in South Louisiana and is married to the love of her life. One day, out of the blue, she receives a series of anonymous notes that sends her life into a tail spin. Five simple words, “I know what you did.”Unbeknownst to anyone, even Zoe’s husband, Pierce, she has a past—a past she had covered so well she never thought she would have to confront. How could anyone know what she did?


Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.

She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.

Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she’s added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call.

Kathy’s husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and birdwatching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure.

My Impressions:

False Pretenses is the 1st book in Kathy Herman’s latest book series, Secrets of Roux River Bayou.  Kathy has again taken characters from another series (Sophie Trace Trilogy) and moved them into a new town.  This formula has worked well in the past and again is a sure thing to get new and old fans to read her books.  I first was introduced to Kathy Herman’s works in the Baxter series.  I moved on with Guy and Ellen Jones to the Seaport Suspense series and then on to Phantom Hollow with Ellen’s son and daughter-in-law.  I have not finished the Phantom Hollow series and have not read the Sophie Trace Trilogy at all, but that didn’t stop me from digging into False Pretenses.

Vanessa and Ethan have moved to the quaint Cajun town of Les Barbes to renovate the old family home that has been associated with secrets and ghost stories throughout the years.  They befriend landlords and restaurant owners Zoe and Pierce. Zoe has a few secrets of her own that someone is threatening to expose.

I enjoyed the south Louisiana setting with its regional cuisine and Cajun patois that Herman mixes in.  She again has a few characters that help root the story in the setting and provide background on the plot.  The novel  was fast-paced and suspenseful.  The characters’ emotions are real and there is a big surprise at the end.

My book club, By The Book, is set to discuss False Pretenses next week.  What are your opinions of the book?  We would love your input.


2 Responses to “Book Review: False Pretenses”

  1. Christy October 15, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Sounds like her series are a lot of Karen Kingsbury’s. It works for a little while, but honestly, I get bored with them if they carry on for too long (like KK has done with her Baxter series).

    • rbclibrary October 15, 2011 at 11:21 am #

      She always moves a character that was not so much a focus of the other books or they become minor characters in the next series. I think all of the Sophie Trace characters are new. I really don’t care for Karen Kingsbury (did I say that out loud?!) but I do like Herman a lot. Her books are more suspense, kind of like Dee Henderson, with perhaps less romance included.

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