Monday, April 06, 2009

Kathy Herman's The Real Enemy ~ Reviewed

The Real Enemy (Sophie Trace Trilogy, Book 1)
by Kathy Herman
Paperback: 376 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (March 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1434767868

Product Description:

Brill Jessup would rather work than deal with the bitterness she feels about her husband Kurt's infidelity. They've made a fresh start with Brill taking a job as the new police chief in a small East Tennessee town. Kurt is genuinely contrite and making every effort to show his commitment to Brill. Meanwhile Emily, their nine-year-old, is being the perfect little girl, as if she can make everything okay again. So why can't Brill get over this anger? Work presents the perfect distraction as rumors and superstition are running rampant in the wake of the disappearances of seven people in seven days. As fear rises in the community, Brill works desperately to solve the mystery... until it threatens her family and she is forced to confront the real enemy.

My Review:

Kathy Herman has produced an intriguing novel about a family in crisis and a town in turmoil.

New-to-town police chief, Brill Jessup, discovers many lessons as she finds that small town doesn't guarantee safety nor peace. That safety and peace come from a bigger source altogether. She also discovers that "where you go, there you are" is a true and uncomfortable statement. Running away and pretending don't make problems better, they only become all the more powerful. As Brill attempts to keep her town safe from the unknown and brutal, her hidden pain rips and tears her family apart even as her husband attempts to rebuild.

Equal time is spent on Brill and Kurt's marriage and the police work required to solve the bizarre puzzle in Sophie Trace. Because of that, the intensity of both is decreased a bit. And that's a good thing because either of these plot lines; kidnappings, gang violence, fear and evil within the town and distrust, bitterness, infidelity and unforgiveness within the marriage, could've easily been overwhelming. Herman masters her story and makes it readable, touching and mostly believable.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Bonus Review:

I’m so thankful to have received a review copy of this exciting, action packed, heart felt, thought provoking police drama. The Real Enemy is the first book in the Sophie Trace Trilogy, introducing Police Chief, Brill Jessup. Brill’s the first female police chief, in a new town, in a new house. She realizes she still has the same old problems. They’ve followed her there. She had to work really hard to get the men in this town to respect her, and realize she had police instincts they could trust.

She left Memphis, Tennessee to escape her husband’s affair, hoping for a fresh start. Kurt is committed to the marriage and seeks forgiveness. Brill’s heart is closed to love from her husband. She would do her duty (she was good at that) and stick it out for their children’s sake, but she wasn’t going to forgive him. How could she?

Brill’s police instincts kick in high gear when people start disappearing one by one, without a trace. Who will be next? This town is used to a man being in charge, which makes her work twice as hard.

It takes a crisis for Brill to see that maybe she didn’t have it all together. Did she turn her back on God when her whole life was turned up-side down by the affair? Now her life was being turned up-side down again—only in a different way. What did she really believe when people’s lives were on the line and things get personal?

This book made me appreciate our law enforcement team throughout this land. We take for granted all the things they do to help us feel safe during the day and night. Kathy Herman gives you a peak at what life might look like for the family of the Police Chief. The Police Chief brings a different type of work home with her. I enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the next book in this series, The Last Word.

Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coordinator

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