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The Real Enemy (Sophie Trace Trilogy, Book 1) Paperback – March 1, 2009


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The Real Enemy (Sophie Trace Trilogy, Book 1) + The Last Word: A Novel (Sophie Trace Trilogy) + The Right Call: A Novel (Sophie Trace Trilogy)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434767868
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434767868
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #725,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bookstore owner turned novelist Herman delivers a competent suspense novel that will please fans of police procedurals. After 18 years with the Memphis police, Brill Jessup is almost immediately handed a challenge as new chief of the police force of a small town nestled in the Smoky Mountains. People go missing, one by one, and townsfolk are more than ready to believe that an old legend about vengeful displaced Cherokee accounts for the mystery. Meanwhile Brill's home life is in tatters; she has stayed with her unfaithful husband Kurt for the sake of their daughter but resolutely refuses to forgive despite his remorse. Brill is an intriguing, flawed character and several townspeople supply local color, though the Jessups' neighbors the Masinos seem improbably saintly. A Bible verse about evil forms an epigraph and credibly motivates some action in this police thriller. Some of the exposition is slightly clunky, but on the whole things move along briskly, and the novelist will have readers waiting for the next installment in this trilogy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* “Brill” Jessup earned her nickname because of her brilliant detective work during her 18 years in the Memphis Police Department. Now the first female police chief in the sleepy little town of Sophie Trace, Tennessee, Brill needs to build her “street cred” all over again, both with a staff that’s just getting to know her and with a sheriff with a giant ego whose cases sometimes overlap hers. In this faith-based novel, Brill’s husband, Kurt, has had an affair, and she’s not able to forgive him. But Brill has more to worry about than just her marital problems. People are beginning to disappear from Sophie Trace without leaving a clue, and many believe “red shadows,” the ghosts of Cherokees who were forced from their land, are responsible. Herman skillfully builds suspense and twists plotlines, keeping her readers hooked from beginning to end. While the characters in this book are both interesting and three-dimensional, Brill is an especially fascinating blend of tough and vulnerable, the epitome of a woman under great stress, personal and professional. This is the first installment in the Sophie Trace trilogy, and libraries will want all three. --Shelley Mosley

More About the Author

Kathy Herman is no stranger to the Christian publishing industry. Before becoming a bestselling author and award-winning poet, Kathy worked on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association for five years. She gained eleven years of bookstore experience as a children's products specialist and drew on that expertise to conduct related seminars in the U.S. and Canada.

Kathy quickly rose to the rank of bestselling author when her first novel, TESTED BY FIRE, became a CBA bestseller shortly after its release. Since then, eight more of her novels have claimed the title of bestseller: ALL THINGS HIDDEN, THE REAL ENEMY, THE LAST WORD, THE RIGHT CALL,FALSE PRETENSES,DANGEROUS MERCY, RELENTLESS PURSUIT and NOT BY SIGHT.

Her contemporary, fast-paced novels weave inspirational messages into the storyline so effectively that a college professor in Houston utilized her books as required reading to educate students on the value of teaching through fiction. Kathy's books have also been widely used in book club discussion and Bible study groups.

Kathy and her husband Paul live in East Texas and have three grown children, five "nearly perfect" grandchildren, and an adorable cat named Samantha. Her hobbies include photography and bird watching--especially an ongoing fascination with hummingbirds.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Shana VINE VOICE on May 31, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a nicely written suspense/mystery book. Written in third-person narrative, this Christian thriller keeps the reader on the edge. The plot is a bit of a brain teaser. I really enjoyed it!

Brill Jessup, the protagonist, comes across as a very believable chief of police. She works endlessly with the Sheriff and the FBI on a case that seems impossible to crack. Meanwhile, she does her best to ignore her husband who cheated on her. All while trying to stay strong for her daughter and keep her family together.

One of the Christian themes covered in this book is bitterness, along with the inability to forgive (illustrated by Brill & her husband). It's a topic that most people will relate to.

At times, I could really relate to Brill. On the other hand, Emily, Brill's very intelligent nine-year-old daughter is written too unbelievable. Several times I had trouble believing that she would speak and act as maturely as she did. Also, at the end the 180 turn in Brill and her husband's relationship out of no where was hard to believe. Though, Brill herself admitted it was a miracle reunion.

Even though, there were minor things I didn't like it was a great read. Overall, a fast, easy and thought provoking read. I'd highly recommend to any Christian book clubs or ladies group. I would most definitely read another of the series.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By CJ-MO VINE VOICE on May 25, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The Real Enemy" is the first of a new series. The main character, Colleen "Brill" Jessup is the first female police chief in a small town in Tennessee. She faces many obstacles as she starts her new job: trying to prove herself since she's new and a woman, dealing with marital problems, and then trying to solve a series of tough missing person cases.

I really liked this book and found that it moved along quickly and kept me interested in finding out what would happen next with the cases and in Brill's personal life.

The book is classified as Christian suspense. The characters do talk about their faith and passages and messages from the bible are referenced. However, the book is not "preachy" and should appeal to a wide range of mystery/suspense fans.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Natalie Dawn on May 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It was a good book and I didn't have any problems finishing it as it does keep you engaged. However, like other reviewers have stated, the characterization is rather weak and you never fully connect with the characters. That normally wouldn't be a problem if the main element of the story was the mystery but even that come across as somewhat weak and isn't the main emphasis.
The Authors message of forgiveness and the effects of bitterness especially in light of betrayal and adultery was very good but lost some of the effectiveness due to the flat characterization. The suspense was good especially at the end but I would have liked to have seen a stronger mystery. Seemed anticlimactic.
Overall I think that the book had a lot of potential and that this might be one of those series that starts out slow but quickly strengthens. It is definetely worth giving a chance.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jan Squillace on April 8, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't normally read reviews because I prefer to make up my own mind about stories. However, this one should have a large label - "Christian fiction" prominently featured on the home page. If you like this kind of fiction, this is one of the better ones of the type. However, as standard fiction, it just doesn't measure up. The characters are all good or all bad. That is until faith intervenes and makes the bad into good. Too corny for words.
If I had realized what this series was, I would not have wasted the download time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Soozie4Him VINE VOICE on October 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I read another Kathy Herman series a few years ago, and was glad to see she's started another one! I had a hard time putting this book down, and finished it in less than 24 hours! The main character, Bril (short for Brilliant - she's a very sharp policewoman who has solved many crimes) has just started a new job in a small town in eastern Tennessee bordering the Great Smoky Mountains. She didn't expect major crimes to solve like her previous job in Memphis, but soon after she comes to take charge of this small town police department, people start disappearing. But Bril has even bigger problems at home... The twists and turns of this plot are spellbinding, and the story at home heartbreaking. This book is very well-written and I can't wait to read the sequel!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen M. Rosario on June 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I've read from Kathy Herman. I picked it up in a bookstore to have some light reading on my vacation. Based on what I had read on the jacket, I had expected a Christian supernatural thriller, similar to some of Frank Peretti's work. That was not the case here. The urban legend of the Red Shadows was discussed throughout the book, but ultimately had nothing to do with the final outcome. One of the antagonists was described as having sudden mood swings but we are never given any reason as to why he had a sudden change in behavior, and then almost as inexplicably he later feels remorse for what he did. An element of infidelity on the part of Brill was also introduced. Although her husband's remorse for his indiscrestion was thoroughly explored, Brill does not seem to have the same regret for what happened between her and FBI agent Dave. In fact, the book does not contain any kind of a confession on Brill's part...Brill alludes to the fact that she will tell her husband after Dave leaves town, but her feelings of guilt are only touched on. Since this is a trilogy it is possible that they may go deeper into this in the next book, but with the "happy-family-everything-is-wonderful-at-Thanksgiving" scene at the end, I'm not holding my breath for it. I gave the book two stars because the story was suspensful enough to keep me turning pages to the end, but the ending was such a disappointment that I threw my copy in the trash when I finished it.
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