A multi-faceted story filled to brimming with grace. I love the way the author tells it from the point of views of two couples -- Zoe and Pierce and Vanessa and Ethan. She weaves their diverse stories into the increasingly sinister suspense thread and in the process, creates a riveting tale of compassion and love and ultimately the forgiveness that comes from the grace Jesus offers us. Hair-raising, breath-snatching, I came to a point where I couldn't put the book down and had to finish it in one chilling sweep. So many 'aha' moments by the time I reached the triumphant conclusion.
This is book 1 (2011) in the Secrets of Roux River Bayou and you can bet, I'll be hunting down books 2 and 3! And to Kathy Herman fans -- You'll recognize Vanessa and Ethan from the Sophie Trace Trilogy. I haven't read those books but there was enough background references that I felt compelled to check the author's website and sure enough I found Vanessa and Ethan's story in The Right Call, which I'll be reading soon as well.
"False Pretenses" is a Christian suspense novel. The story is about a woman who is ashamed of her past and so she took a new identity and began a new life. But now someone is threatening to tell about her past, and she's afraid people will reject her when they discover who she was and that she's lied to them. This is the first book in a series. Some characters are apparently from a previous series, and they talk about past events. That vague information might spoil some of the suspense in that previous series, but I don't actually know if it will.
The suspense is created by relationship tensions and from physical danger. The characters were interesting, varied, and complex. I guessed whodunit and who the blackmailer was long before Zoe caught on, but it was realistic that she wouldn't guess. The story wasn't really about guessing whodunit, anyway. The Christian element was mainly provided by a minor character who was wronged by Zoe. This woman showed Christ's love and encouraged Zoe to be honest with her husband and friends--though Zoe didn't take that advice too well.
There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this suspenseful novel.
False Pretenses was a great introduction to Kathy Herman. The suspense was fairly intense, and I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next. Plus, the plot moved along quickly, which really kept me flipping the pages. Zoe Broussard was a great main character, and I really enjoyed getting to know her. The author did a great job writing about such a unique and iconic location as New Orleans, but I wasn't crazy about the Cajun dialect. I know the author was using it to give a realistic flair to the dialogue, but if I'm unfamiliar with the words, I don't like having to stop and start to check the glossary. Other than that, though, I really did love the book, and it whet my appetite for the next novel in the series! [4 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from David C. Cook in exchange for my fair and honest review.