The Real Enemy (Sophie Trace Trilogy, Book 1)

by Kathy Herman

Paperback, 2009



Call number



David C. Cook (2009), Edition: New, 384 pages


Fiction. Suspense. HTML: Brill Jessup becomes the first female police chief in Sophie Trace, Tennessee and is riding on the credentials of a stellar eighteen-year-career on the Memphis Police Force. She may be a pro at finding clues, but she ignores the obvious in her personal life. Her husband, Kurt, is weighed down by her unrelenting anger as he struggles to let God redeem the stupidest mistake he ever made. Brill hides behind her badge and her bitterness, deciding that moving her family away from Memphis is the only change she needs to make. Before she has time to unpack her boxes, people start disappearing. Lots of them. To complicate matters, a local legend has many residents believing that the cause is unearthlyâ??tied to the "red shadows," or spirits of the departed Cherokee who once inhabited the land. While Brill draws on all of her experience and instinct to solve the case, she must confront an enemy that threatens everything she holds dearâ??one that cannot be stopped with a badge and a gun… (more)


Original language


Physical description

384 p.; 8.25 inches


1434767868 / 9781434767868

User reviews

LibraryThing member smilingsally
This is my favorite type of book to read. Written in third-person narrative, this Christian fiction thriller keeps the reader on edge. The plot is a brain teaser. I loved it!

Brill Jessup, the protagonist, comes across as a believable chief of police as she works 24/7 with the Sheriff and the FBI on
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a case that seems impossible to crack. Meanwhile, she does her best to ignore her husband, who strayed. One of the themes of this book is bitterness--the inability to forgive, a topic that will cause most people to relate. At times, I fully supported Brill, while other times, I wanted to sit her down for a heart-to-heart.

On the other hand, Emily, Brill's precocious nine-year-old daughter is written too flat, and several times I had trouble believing that any child, no matter how bright, would speak and act this way. That being said, it still is a terrific book and well worth the read. Discussion questions are included.
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LibraryThing member msh09
I enjoyed the mystery of the book, but more than that, I enjoyed the way Kathy Herman brought in the family dynamics involved in an affair that rocks the family and the the affects of it for each member of the family. I wasn't sure going into the book and was very pleased with how well the author
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dealt with it. So real and raw, showing how each member of the family is affected and how the resulting emotions can sometimes bring further turmoil to the family. The ending is well-done with the mystery as well as the family drama.
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LibraryThing member heidip
I sat down on the couch last night, and I couldn't put the book down. It was a nice distraction from life. Brill is the new Chief of Police in a small town. She, her husband, and youngest daughter have moved to the new location to start over after her husband's infidelity. Her husband, Kurt, is
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really working to rebuild their marriage, but Brill is having trouble overcoming the bitterness in her heart. Throw in a rash of kidnappings and things start to get ugly in the small town of Sophie Trace.
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LibraryThing member vintagebeckie
Kathy Herman has been a long time favorite of mine. She combines great characters with real life struggles and page-turning mysteries to produce great novels. She always includes a faith message that speaks to readers as well. The Real Enemy is the first book in her Sophie Trace Trilogy. I enjoyed
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it and am looking forward to more with the Jessup family in the quaint town set in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

Brill Jessup is the new police chief of Sophie Trace. Her family is attempting a new start, but past regrets, betrayals and bitterness keep them from truly moving on. Brill’s husband, Kurt, was unfaithful and it is this that has impacted the whole family. Unwilling to forgive, Brill immerses herself in her work, which following mysterious abductions and increased gang activity, has gotten harder and more complicated.

Herman does a good job of balancing the family drama with a good mystery. Both story lines kept this reader interested. Herman explores the damage that is done to the whole family when just one strays from God’s law. The mystery of the missing people makes way for the town legend of the Red Shadows adding an interesting look into the history of the early settlers and Native Americans of the Smokies. I also liked that Herman introduces supporting characters that add color to the small community. Nick’s restaurant is the hub for town gossip and serves as a means for the main characters and the reader to gauge the pulse of the town.

I listened to The Real Enemy on my morning walks. The reading was well done — a great pace that made my exercise fly by. So if you are looking for a mystery with some depth and spiritual truth in the mix, check out The Real Enemy.


Audience: Adults
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