Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources.
She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market.
Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she’s added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call.
Kathy’s husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and birdwatching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. —Matthew 5:7
When eighty-five-year-old Adele Woodmore moves to Les Barbes to be near the Broussards—and her namesake, their daughter—she wants nothing more than a comfortable, quiet life. Employing men from Father Vince’s halfway house for the homeless to do odd jobs and landscaping, she delights in the casual conversation she has with them, the fledgling friendships, and the idea that she is helping them get back on their feet.
A series of murders in Les Barbes has cast a pall over the town and, in fact, one of Adele’s handymen becomes a person of interest to the police. But Adele cares for these young men, she knows them, and continues to show them kindness in spite of her friends’ concern. And then one day a murderer walks through Adele’s defenses, sits down at her kitchen table…and they begin to talk…
Out of all the books offered by CFBA for review this month, Dangerous Mercy was the one I most wanted to read. Wouldn’t you know it – the book barely arrived in time for its blog tour. What with other things I needed to do and admittedly some piddling around, I am getting my review in by the skin of my teeth. It might even end up a few minutes late.
I always expect a good suspenseful story when I pick up a book by Kathy Herman and Dangerous Mercy did not disappoint. With several murders in one week, the townspeople of Les Barbes are on edge and for good reason. All but one of the crimes seem to have been committed by the same person but one murder does not follow the same pattern as the others. As law enforcement scrambles to put together the clues, one man from the halfway house becomes a person of interest in the seemingly unrelated death. Will the murderer be found before more people die? What about Noah – is he really guilty? And Adele – is she foolish for trusting the men from the halfway house to work in her home? These and many more questions will be answered if you pick up a copy of Dangerous Mercy.
I did manage to figure out who the murderer was fairly early in the story, mainly because the person was just too nice but Kathy did drop a few clues for anyone sharp enough to pick up on them. Suspecting the guilty person did not detract from my enjoyment of the story at all. In fact, I often find that the suspense in Herman’s stories takes a backseat to the human interaction and relationships within the book. That is what makes her books so realistic and makes me continue to read them. The fact that each of her novels contains a valuable spiritual lesson does not hurt either.
As with all Kathy Herman books, I highly recommend Dangerous Mercy. If you are not familiar with Kathy’s books, now would be a wonderful time to try one.