David C. Cook
From bestselling suspense novelist Kathy Herman comes False Pretenses, Book 1 in the Secrets of Roux River Bayou series. The story begins as happily married café owner Zoe Broussard suddenly encounters a sinister string of anonymous notes. Zoe’s past, which has been carefully hidden beneath a blanket of lies for many years, is now threatening her future. On top of it all, the same person who is out to destroy Zoe is also going after her loved ones.
Herman narrates her story by using an omniscient point of view. Characters are mostly three dimensional, and relationships between husbands and wives are portrayed as strong, healthy partnerships. Though they face much conflict in their relationship, Zoe and her husband Pierce are both strong examples of how trust is a key element in a lasting marriage.
The plot is centered on Zoe Broussard and her struggle to face the repercussions of her past deceit. Zoe, who is living under an assumed identity, becomes prey to a ruthless drug-dealer who insists that she owes him one hundred thousand dollars. When she is unable to meet the dealer’s financial demands, he kidnaps her best friend, Virginia Langley. With danger closing in on all sides, Zoe must face her lies and find a way to rescue her loved ones.
Whereas Zoe has built a life upon a foundation of deceit, she is sincerely burdened by her shameful past but often feels forced to lie. This weak personality trait allows for much growth throughout the story, and by the end of the book it is evident that Zoe is ready to take responsibility for her mistakes. Minor characters don’t display any significant development, but are successful in displaying positive qualities, such as trust, loyalty, and love. Ultimately, all characters’ actions support the words of John 8:32. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” From first to final chapter, Herman does her best to produce a thriller that contains enough twists and turns to keep readers turning pages. While the author succeeds on some scale, there are instances when the plot feels somewhat tangled and overdone. Character viewpoint contributes to some of the confusion, as the author often writes from four differing perspectives within a single chapter.
Overall, Herman’s work is a pleasant thrill that will provide entertainment with light intrigue. This is a good choice for inspirational fiction fans who are looking for just a taste of suspense. – Kari Lynn Travis, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Zoe Broussard loves the life she and her husband Pierce have built in her beloved Louisiana hometown-especially their popular brasserie Zoe B's, to which folks drive all the way from Lafayette for lunch or dinner. It seems like heaven.
But it's about to become hell. A series of anonymous notes is making her life a misery-because Zoe has a secret so terrible it could leave the business in shambles and tear her marriage apart. Can she find the courage to face her past?
The first in a new series from Kathy Herman, False Pretenses is a gripping suspense novel that leaves a lasting impression about honesty and accountability.