Heart-pounding suspense meets heart-challenging truth as best-selling author Kathy Herman returns to Sophie Trace in her new page-turner, The Last Word (David C Cook, October 2009). Based on Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the gentile,” Herman’s second installment in the Sophie Trace series triumphantly demonstrates God’s miraculous ability to heal the broken.
This theme comes to life in Vanessa Jessup, a twenty-year-old college student who becomes pregnant while having a secret love affair with her psychology professor and has to make a choice: either end the pregnancy or end the relationship. The biblical truths she learned growing up prompt her to choose life and to go home to the refuge of her parents’ counsel and a right relationship with God.
When Vanessa arrives home, her mother, Sophie Trace Police Chief Brill Jessup, is stunned to see that she’s pregnant—and by one of her professors. While Brill is glad her middle daughter rejected the father’s abortion ultimatum, she’s also hurt that Vanessa ignored her upbringing and angry that the professor has disappeared without as much as a nickel of child support.
But that’s not all Brill’s got on her plate. One of her detectives has been killed, and the attacker has threatened to come for her next. When a second cop is wounded, public criticism mounts as Brill attempts to stay alive long enough to catch the perp. And she’s trying to find the deadbeat dad as Vanessa struggles to make decisions about her future.
In spite of Brill’s best efforts to stay safe, the murderer finally kidnaps and threatens to kill her and then commit suicide. As her life hangs in the balance, Brill becomes concerned that her attacker is about to die and is not saved and refuses to be silenced in her witness of God’s love for him. In a show of grace under pressure and fierce determination, Brill will manage to have the last word, even if it kills her.
Best-selling suspense novelist Kathy Herman has written fifteen novels, including CBA bestsellers The Real Enemy, Tested by Fire and All Things Hidden, since retiring from her family’s Christian bookstore business. Kathy and her husband, Paul, have three grown children and five grandchildren and live in Tyler, Texas.
Does that trailer not grab you? And I must say the book lives up to the trailer. I had read Kathy Herman's Baxter Series a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it. So when I was asked to review this book for the book tour I jumped on it even though I had not read any of the series. The second installment in the Sophie Trace Trilogy, this book easily stands on it's own. The author makes references back to the first novel and even though you might not know the exact story, you are not left confused and you pick up on the gist of what happened with the main characters easily. I could not put this book down. While full of suspense and a definite page-turner, the family dynamics part of the story is also gripping and the telling of it never suffers at the expense of the suspense. The only part of the story that left me a little confused at times was how grown up young Emily seemed to be at times and then at other times how much of a little girl she seemed. I was a little confused as to how old she actually was until it was finally mentioned.
Kathy Herman's stories are full of inspiration mixed with the suspense and this one's theme was based on God's power to heal broken people. I love how the Christian characters are not perfect people but have their own issues they are dealing with or trying to overcome. While not preachy the story definitely leaves a message. I can hardly wait to read the 1st and 3rd installments of the series.
Thank you to B & B Media Group for providing the book for review
"The Last Word" is available at David C. Cook