Thursday, October 13, 2011
Book Review: False Pretenses by Kathy Herman/4 Stars
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. Ethan and Vanessa Langley from the Sophie Trace trilogy play a part in this story too.
What a good first experience with Kathy Herman's books! Until this novel, Kathy was a new author to me, and now, I have a feeling I will be returning for future novels, as well as searching out her back list. Her style of writing was so personable and friendly, even with a plot that had murder, deception, and racial tension.
In spite of actually reading the back cover blurb somewhere along the way, it slipped my mind that this book would feature the continuing story of a few characters from some of Kathy's earlier novels. I got a tad bit worried that this would make for a less-than-ideal reading experience, but she gave just enough info that I had no trouble piecing together Ethan and Vanessa's back story. In fact, their reasons for moving to Louisiana later became an instrumental part of the story in more ways than one.
Unfortunately, I had a hard time connecting with the main character, Zoe. I think the combination of her attempts to change her past coupled with her desire to fit into the Cajun culture made her the most unrealistic character of the bunch. Her only redeeming feature was her husband, Pierce. His struggle to forgive Zoe for her years of deceit was both believable and heartfelt.
Now that I've connected with all of these characters, I'm anxious to return to the Roux River Bayou and see what's in store for Mrs. Woodmore. Her Southern charm in this novel was like iced sweet tea on a hot summer day--I just couldn't get enough!
Southern? You betcha!
**Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.