Wednesday, January 19, 2011

False Pretenses-Kathy Herman

False Pretenses
Kathy Herman
David C. Cook, Mar 1 2011, $14.99
ISBN: 9780781403405

In the town of Les Barbes in Saint Catherine Parrish, Louisiana, a mystery comes to light. Vanessa and Ethan Langtry remodel Langtry Manor converting it into a B&B. Their son Carter says the candyman gave him lemon drops, but his parents assume this is just a child’s imagination until they sees candy on the floor. Neither adult can figure out how a person entered their tightly secured locked faculty.

Zoe and Pierce Broussard own Zoe B’s brasserie, which she opened a decade ago. She has received letters saying: “I know what you did.” Zoe assumes the anonymous writer refers to a ring she stole and is preparing to blackmail her. To eliminate the extortion, Zoe confesses to her former employer and offers to pay back the cost of the ring. Her ex boss is kind and asks Zoe to simply repay her what she got for it. However this proves not to be the source of the threat. Someone wants what the real Zoe Broussard parents owed him. Ironically, she is not that Zoe, but instead Shelby Siegler who fled from her abusive molesting father to reinvent herself as Zoe Benoit who lived in her hometown. Knowing the predator will kill her and Pierre, Zoe needs to tell her beloved husband the truth but fears that will kill her marriage.

In the first Secrets of Roux River Bayou, Kathy Herman provides a strong romantic suspense thriller with two major subplots that intertwine leading to what may be the great author’s best work to date. Besides the Broussard’s confrontations with a psychopath and the Langtry’s trepidations of an intruder, the town is in a frenzy of rage over the lynching of a white man. As the Langtrys befriend the Broussards during their crisis, which cleverly merges the two prime plots, readers will appreciate a trip into the Bayou escorted by Ms. Herman.

Harriet Klausner

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