False Pretenses by Kathy Herman


The characters are fairly well developed, and except for two are believable. Kathy Herman has a terrific way of designing scenes where you can hear the dishes clinking, and smell the coffee and bacon or the gumbo and fresh bread. It brought back so many good memories for me. She draws a small town community in a loving way, and it is clear that somewhere along the way Herman has experienced small town living, and small town characters. Her descriptions capture the scenery and the mugginess of south Louisiana. It is definitely a vivid  experience.


The back cover promises a terrific read; and Herman has written and published numerous novels, so you'd think this would be a "wowser", and yet somehow this particular novel falls a little flat. Perhaps I was expecting too much, or perhaps because this Cajun-flavored storyline doesn't ring true. The storyline doesn't flow well. Something happens--an event--then all the characters must talk about the event for a few pages and even a chapter or two, then another event, and the characters talk about it, and so on. It is studiously plodding in some parts, but other parts move along quite briskly. For the most part, to me it reads more like a soap opera drama rather than a suspense or finely crafted mystery. However, the end is completely unbelievable for me because I was expecting so much more from this novel.

The first part of my life was spent in Texas, and then we moved to Louisiana where I grew up. For twenty-six years I lived in Cajun country, so my saturation in the culture perhaps has clouded my judgment.

In Louisiana, I spent decades living with, being friends with, and conversing with Cajuns. There is no way a person who is born and raised in Texas can suddenly shed the Texas accent, Texas thought process, and Texas loyalty and suddenly change their name and become Cajun: a believable Cajun with a Cajun accent, and mentality. It would be like someone who grew up in Germany, speaking German trying to become a Southern Bell and speak Southern. Can't be done.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
False Pretenses
David C. Cook (March 1, 2011)
Kathy Herman


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 (CBA) 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.


Zoe Broussard loves the life she and her husband Pierce have built in her beloved Louisiana hometown. She owns a thriving Cajun eatery in South Louisiana and is married to the love of her life.

But it’s about to become hell. 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.” Zoe has a secret so terrible it could leave the business in shambles and tear her marriage apart. 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? Can she find the courage to face her past?

If you would like to read the first chapter of False Pretenses, go HERE.

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