Monday, November 13, 2006

Kathy Herman's Not By Chance ~ Reviewed

Not By Chance
By Kathy Herman
Publisher: Multnomah Fiction (August 2006)
ISBN: 159052490X
Book Four in the Seaport Suspense Series

Brandon Jones' life has tumbled off the corporate ladder. When he turns down a regional vice president's job at Mavis and Stein, he's left without a job, a fiancée, or a secure future. He finds himself in Seaport, Florida, at his parents' home.

He has a sympathetic listener in his mother, Ellen, a former journalist turned unpublished novelist. As she battles her way through her latest book, she has doubts about her second career choice.

Brandon's father is the exact opposite. A successful lawyer, he's beside himself at the opportunity his son has thrown away. He can't understand Brandon's need to find a job that gives purpose to his life.

His first friend in Seaport is also a sympathetic listener. Weezie Taylor is the assistant manager at Cody's Crab Shack. Brandon is drawn to her active faith, her good advice, and her outgoing personality.

But everyone is not happy with Brandon's platonic relationship with Weezie. A menace from the past raises it's racist head and makes Brandon, who is white, and Weezie, who is black the first targets of the summer. As the heat builds in the Florida panhandle, so do the racial tensions.

Not By Chance is a good read for those who like their suspense on the lighter side. Kathy Herman tackles the sensitive subject of racism, raising questions we would all do well to ponder.

Review by Cheryl Russell

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