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The Last Word by Kathy Herman


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The Advocate



The Last Word by Kathy Herman

Reviewed by Vennessa Ng

"Herman definitely has a gift with suspense. The Last Word kept me glued to the pages."

The small town of Sophie Trace, nestled below the Great Smoky Mountains, becomes the center of national attention when a police detective is stabbed in the hall of the Detective Bureau. As Police Chef Brill Jessup fights to keep the detective alive, she is shocked to discover that the perpetrator is coming after her next, to finish the job.

With her life under threat and the town in turmoil, the last thing Brill needs is more upheaval. But more shocks await her when her twenty-year-old daughter Vanessa returns home from college—seven months pregnant.

Brill struggles under the pressure of the attacks on her detectives and the crushing disappointment surrounding Vanessa’s pregnancy. Can she keep the town united in their attempt to stop a cop killer while giving Vanessa the support she needs to make the toughest decision of her life?

The Last Word is book two of Kathy Herman’s Sophie Trace Series. Unfortunately, I hadn’t read the first book, but I wish I had before reading this one. I spent much of the first half of the book a little confused as to the backstory around the Jessup family. Although you don’t want to dump too much backstory on the reader early on, I felt this book took a little too long to reveal important aspects.

Herman does a fantastic job with the characterizations. Both Brill and Vanessa jumped from the pages, and I found their struggles and flaws relatable. I also loved the minor characters, but felt some of their scenes were unnecessary fillers as they didn’t progress the story in any way. There were also several key phrases used throughout the book that soon started to become irksome and predictable when constantly repeated.

Herman definitely has a gift with suspense. The Last Word kept me glued to the pages, fearful for Brill and urging Vanessa to make the right decision. This was the first book of Herman’s I have read, but it definitely won’t be the last.

Vennessa NgVennessa Ng lives in New Zealand with her husband and three children. As an avid reader with a passion for Christian worldview fiction, she works to help authors improve their craft through her freelance editing service, Aotearoa Editorial Services (www.aotearoaeditorial.com), and helps publicize books and authors via her review site, Illuminating Fiction (www.illuminatingfiction.com). She has also reviewed for Focus On Fiction, Infuze Magazine, Novel Reviews, 1340 Magazine, and now TitleTrakk. In her spare time she pursues her own passion for writing and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.