Read False Pretenses Online

Authors: Kathy Herman

Tags: #Book 1, #Secrets of Roux River Bayou

False Pretenses

What people are saying about …


“Kathy Herman has cooked up a spicy Cajun mystery featuring a likable cast of small-town characters. This intriguing yarn is sure to satisfy the appetites of murder-mystery lovers.”

Creston Mapes,
author of

“With its perfectly paced suspense, Cajun flair, and riveting look at the high price of deceit, Kathy Herman's
False Pretenses
is a true page-turner. Highly recommended!”

Marlo Schalesky,
author of the Christy Award–winning novel
Beyond the Night

“Kathy Herman has raised her own bar for an action-packed novel with rich conflict and realistic romance.
False Pretenses
is deep and soul-searching with nonstop excitement. It will lead to nonstop reading.”

Hannah Alexander,
author of
A Killing Frost
and the Hideaway series

“Mysteries abound in Kathy Herman's latest foray into suspense. Though we know some of the characters well, new ones will intrigue readers. The story entwines the secrets of the past with the secrets of today. You'll enjoy this trip to Cajun country. A solid read!”

Lyn Cote,
author of
Her Abundant Joy

False Pretenses,
Kathy Herman has begun a wonderfully intriguing new series set in Louisiana's bayou country—Secrets of Roux River Bayou.
False Pretenses
gets the series off to a fast-paced start filled with suspense, tension, and mystery that will grip readers from the first page.”

Marta Perry,
author of
Murder in Plain Sight

“Kathy Herman has written a powerful story of tension, mystery, and danger. Anonymous messages point to a secret from the past that can destroy the future. But there's also a tender love story to challenge that secret.”

Lorena McCourtney,
author of the Ivy Malone Mysteries and the Andi McConnell Mysteries


Published by David C Cook

4050 Lee Vance View

Colorado Springs, CO 80918 U.S.A.

David C Cook Distribution Canada

55 Woodslee Avenue, Paris, Ontario, Canada N3L 3E5

David C Cook U.K., Kingsway Communications

Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 6NT, England

David C Cook and the graphic circle C logo

are registered trademarks of Cook Communications Ministries.

All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes,

no part of this book may be reproduced or used in any form

without written permission from the publisher.

The website addresses recommended throughout this book are offered as a resource to you. These websites are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement on the part of David C Cook, nor do we vouch for their content.

This story is a work of fiction. All characters and events are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is coincidental.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc™. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. John 11:25–26 in chapter 36 is taken from the
New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms
© 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and is used by permission of the copyright owner. All rights reserved. No part of the
New American Bible
may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

LCCN 2010942617

ISBN 978-0-7814-0340-5

eISBN 978-0-7814-0618-5

© 2011 Kathy Herman

Published in association with the literary agency of Alive Communications, Inc, 7680 Goddard St., Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80920.

The Team: Don Pape, Diane Noble, Amy Kiechlin, Sarah Schultz, Caitlyn York, Karen Athen

Cover Design: DogEared Design, Kirk DouPonce.

Cover Images: iStockphoto, #10860599 royalty-free; iStockphoto, #9791563 royalty-free; ShutterStock, #4247786 royalty-free; SuperStock, #1525R-116643 royalty-free; 123RF, #1952688 royalty-free; Veer, #PHP2971311 royalty-free.

First Edition 2011

To Him who is both the Giver and the Gift


This is the first time in my writing career that I haven't signed the first book of a new release to my mom. So I'd like to mention her here. My mother, Nora Phillips, closed her eyes and slipped into the arms of Jesus shortly after I started writing this book. Her sudden death was a shock to me but was no surprise to Him, who called her into His presence. I rejoice for Mom, yet I miss her so. She was a close friend and ardent cheerleader. There's just something about a mother's praise and encouragement that is different from anyone else's. Trust me, if there's a library in heaven, she's already trying to get my books added. It's hard letting go of her, but I take comfort in knowing that my loss is temporary. Our joy will be eternal.

The bayou country of southern Louisiana provides the backdrop for this new series and many of the images I describe in the story. But Saint Catherine Parish, the town of Les Barbes, and the Roux River Bayou exist only in my imagination.

During the writing of this first book, I drew from several resource people, each of whom shared generously from his or her storehouse of knowledge and experience. I did my best to integrate the facts as I understood them. If accuracy was compromised in any way, it was unintentional and strictly of my own doing. I also made good use of numerous Internet sites related to the history of the Acadians as well as to idiosyncrasies and customs of the Cajun culture and language.

I owe a debt of gratitude to Retired Commander Carl H. Deeley of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for reading over selected scenes and answering my many questions relating to command posts, containments, and hate-crime investigations; and to Retired Lieutenant Gil Carrillo, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau, for answering my questions about false confessions, bagging evidence, identifying shoes from casts taken at crime scenes, withholding evidence, and dealing with department leaks; and to my brother, Chuck Phillips, for helping me understand the differences in firearms. I love gleaning what I can from experienced individuals who “know their stuff.” You gentlemen made my job easy.

I want to thank my friend Paul David Houston, former assistant district attorney, for explaining the steps involved in legally changing a person's name, for researching the statute of limitations on certain crimes in the state of Louisiana, and for helping me to create a believable crime scenario. As always, Paul, you're an absolute joy to work with. Your thorough, concise, and speedy replies to my questions are so appreciated.

A special word of thanks to those whose prayers kept me going, especially through a difficult time of grief: my tenacious prayer warrior and sister, Pat Phillips; my ever-standing-in-the-gap friends Mark and Donna Skorheim and Susan Mouser; my online prayer team—Chuck Allenbrand, Pearl and Don Anderson, Judith Depontes, Jackie Jeffries, Joanne Lambert, Adrienne McCabe, Deidre Pool, Kim Prothro, Kelly Smith, Leslie Strader, Carolyn Walker, Sondra Watson, and Judi Wieghat; my friends at LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas, and LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee; and my church family at Bethel Bible Church. I cannot possibly express to you how much I value your prayers.

To the retailers who sell my books, the church and public libraries that make them available, and the many readers who have encouraged me with personal testimonies about how God has used my words to challenge and inspire. He uses
to fuel the passion that keeps me writing.

To my novelist friends in ChiLibris, who allow me to tap into your collective wisdom and experience—what a compassionate, charitable, prayerful group you are! It's an honor to be counted among you.

To my agent, Joel Kneedler, and the diligent staff at Alive Communications. Your standard of excellence challenges me to keep growing as a writer. I only hope that I represent you as well as you represent me.

To Cris Doornbos, Dan Rich, Don Pape, and the amazing staff at David C Cook Publishers for believing in me and investing in the words I write; thanks for all you do to support my writing ministry. I love being part of the Cook “family.”

To my editor, Diane Noble, for your abundance of patience and grace when I needed more time (and then some) to finish this book. Your intuitive insights and suggestions added depth to the story. I am so blessed to get to work with you and actually look forward to the editing process!

And to my husband, Paul, the other half of my heart, who is the “guardian” of those long periods of absolute quiet wherein my stories are born, thanks for fielding the phone calls and interruptions and for tiptoeing around the house so that I can be creative. Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed.

And most important, thank You, heavenly Father, for blessing the talent You have entrusted to me so that others might get a picture of Your goodness through the power of story. Let my words glorify Your name.

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