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The Real Enemy (Sophie Trace Trilogy #1)
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The Real Enemy (Sophie Trace Trilogy #1)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  890 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Brill Jessup would rather work than deal with the bitterness she feels about her husband Kurt's infidelity. They've made a fresh start with Brill taking a job as the new police chief in a small East Tennessee town. Kurt is genuinely contrite and making every effort to show his commitment to Brill. Meanwhile Emily, their nine-year-old, is being the perfect little girl, as i ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by David C. Cook
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Feb 08, 2010 rjp316 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 21, 2015 Olivia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow, I began this book thinking it would just be another good book to read. No, this book was amazing. It has been far to long since I have read a favorite book, but this one made the cut. The suspense kept me enthralled, and the Jessup family situation, to keep from spoilers, was touching, raw, and captivating.
Mar 08, 2011 Stacy rated it really liked it
Another good Christian mystery, also another freebie I got from Amazon. This was my first book by Kathy Herman, but I enjoyed both the writing, characters and plot. I would definitely read more by her in the future :)
Nora St Laurent
Apr 12, 2010 Nora St Laurent rated it really liked it
I’m so thankful to have received a review copy of this exciting, action packed, heart felt, thought provoking police drama. The Real Enemy is the first book in the Sophie Trace Trilogy, introducing Police Chief, Brill Jessup. Brill’s the first female police chief, in a new town, in a new house. She realizes she still has the same old problems. They’ve followed her there. She had to work really hard to get the men in this town to respect her, and realize she had police instincts they could trust. ...more
Beckie Burnham
Sep 12, 2014 Beckie Burnham rated it really liked it
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 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
Jul 27, 2012 Veronica rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary, mystery
This is the first in a trilogy about Brill, a police chief in a small town in Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains. She and her husband have 3 children, two in college and a 9-year-old. They moved to the town of Sophie Trace from Memphis a month ago, and their quiet life is interrupted when people start to get kidnapped. They're all ages and races with no connection to speak of and no evidence is left at the scene, so Brill calls in David, someone's she worked with in the past from the FBI. Brill ...more
May 07, 2012 ChrisGA rated it it was amazing
This is a very suspenseful Christian thriller. Brill has to adjust to a new job as police chief in a small town while tracking down kidnappers who make multiple people disappear. She also must stop a gang from taking hold in her town. As anxiety and superstition spreads through the town, she and the reader are reminded that every criminal was somebody's baby and his crime affects the rest of his family and the victims'. At home, she is dealing with a husband whose affair caused her to be bitter ...more
Jun 04, 2009 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Brill is short for "Brillant" because that is what she is when it comes to solving cases for the detective team that she was on in Memphis. Now she is headed to Sophie Trace TN, where she will become the chief of police, but what should have been a more relaxing job becomes stressful before she even settles in with people disappearing. There isn't any commomness within the people being taken so who is taking them is it the red shadows that are coming to take back the land that was taken from the ...more
Terrific book!

I love the suspense, but even more, I love that the characters are flawed. It make the novel REAL. The pain the main characters experience is so real, it drew me into it even if it's not something I have personally experienced. When David kissed Brill, I thought for sure she would give in to the temptation just for spite. I think she was much stronger than I would be under those circumstances. And it made me like her more, even as she held onto her bitterness. Also, there are plent
Jan 25, 2015 Nichole rated it it was amazing
I love the suspense, but even more, I love that the characters are flawed. It make the novel REAL. The pain the main characters experience is so real, it drew me into it even if it's not something I have personally experienced. When David kissed Brill, I thought for sure she would give in to the temptation just for spite. I think she was much stronger than I would be under those circumstances. And it made me like her more, even as she held onto her bitterness. Also, there are plenty of female po ...more
Apr 17, 2009 Janna rated it really liked it
This is a great mystery / suspense book that kept me guessing for awhile. We have a "family" that moves to a new town so mom can be the new police chief. Mom and Dad are living together but separately just so they can raise their daughter as a couple. Dad cheated on Mom and almost ruined thier marriage. Can they live in peace? Now that Mom is on the force, crazy stuff starts happening... people start disappearing without a trace. Are they alive, dead, kidnapped??? Locals believe that an old lege ...more
Dec 16, 2013 L rated it really liked it
This author lives in Tyler, TX, and chose the Great Smoky Mountain area as the setting for this suspense novel. The main character is the sheriff of a small town, having moved there from Memphis after here husband was unfaithful. She is charged with not only dealing with here hurt heart, but also solving the disappearance of seven people from the town on seven consecutive days. A really good plot and kept my interest to the end, without the harsh language often found in novels dealing with polic ...more
Sep 24, 2012 Leanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Real Enemy takes place in Sophie Trace, Tennessee, with the Great Smoky Mountains as a backdrop. Superstitious legends come into play whenever a crime cannot be solved and Brill Jessup, the new Chief of Police is called into action practically before her bags are unpacked. Several people disappear in a matter of days and she is determined to find the perpetrator and dispel the silly legends. She is also in the middle of a troubled marriage and her family is falling apart.

Enjoyed this and am
Apr 02, 2009 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Another well-written suspense that I have recently enjoyed! This story centers around forgiveness and the bitterness that we tend to hang on to when we have been wronged. How, when we don't let go of that bitterness and turn it over to God, it festers and ferments inside us ... and healing cannot take place until we clean it all out and let the Father do His work within us. Wonderful reminders about how the Lord repeatedly forgives us woven througout this books - and a great mystery that needs t ...more
May 10, 2013 Vondraya rated it liked it
Shelves: murder-mystery
The author deftly gets into the pain of the female police chief's life due to her husband's recent infidelity. The chief throws herself into her job to hide and recover from that pain. This is the part the author does well.

Then there are a series of disappearances and kidnaps in the town. It wasn't the kind of mystery where you can logically follow the clues and I'm a traditionalist. I want to be able to follow the clues.

Nov 15, 2016 Marcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed Kathy Herman's novels. She keeps you reading because you get involved in the story line and want to smack the main character for her lack compassion and forgiveness, while realizing we all do hold onto unforgiveness many times in our lives.
Apr 18, 2010 Judy rated it really liked it
Good mystery -- 7 people missing over 7 days and new-in-town female chief of police must find them, at the same time she is unwilling to forgive her husband for a one-night stand -- they stay together for theh sake of their youngest child but her family life is in tatters. The evolution of the story is good!
Jun 20, 2011 Cathy rated it liked it
A: A new police series I picked up by chance. There's a small underlying religious theme running through, but not the main focus; just the perfect complement. Brill is the head of a small town police department and deals with a serial kidnapping, local folklore and marital issues. She eventually learns the real enemy in most of the situations is bitterness and anger.
Jul 04, 2010 Aria rated it liked it
This book was better than I thought it would be. At times when I thought the book would slow down in pace, a new twist in the plot would occur and I would be pulled into the story again. The main character, Brill, annoyed me at times when she was so stubborn. Overall though, the characters seemed real and life-like. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.
Anita Hammond
Jul 14, 2010 Anita Hammond added it
Recommends it for: mystery lovers, christians, happy endings lovers
Shelves: finished
I enjoyed this book. Brill has a lot on her plate; police chief in a new town, lots of disappearances and a marriage that is falling apart. I especially liked it because there was no foul language or sexual scenes or innuendos.
Oct 21, 2013 NancyInWI rated it liked it
Started out a real page turner, but went downhill and dragged about 2/3 of the way through. Some of the dialog seemed stilted. There was also some repetitious writing. Overall, I did like the story though and may try the second book in the series.
Dec 03, 2014 Donna rated it liked it
Disappointed in the ending. When the "who" of the whodunit was revealed, I go, huh? Who is that? I like plot twists in my suspense books, but this book didn't have any. Just a straightforward cop story, which might be fine for some.
Melissa Ferris
It was really slow numerous times and I honestly got tired of the storyline between the husband and wife. I was really disappointed with this book and it took me a long Tim to finish it. I also thought the ending was really poor.
Aug 12, 2015 JoAnn rated it really liked it
This was a great book, and a great start to this series. I really enjoyed the characters, and the struggles they both went through because of the husbands infidelity. I really enjoy how Kathy writes about marriages, and struggles that happen in them. I would recommend this book.
Jennifer Stark
Jun 09, 2011 Jennifer Stark rated it really liked it
There was a lot of suspense and trying to figure out what was happening. It was the Police Chief's relationship with her husband that seemed to have been resolved overnight the threw me off. But hey it is a novel, not real life right?!
Paul Goble
Aug 20, 2009 Paul Goble rated it really liked it
Police chief Brill Jessup solves kidnappings while recovering from husband's infidelity. Well-crafted plot with several sub-plots, good writing, and solid characters. Models Christian struggles with forgiveness. Thought-provoking discussion questions at the end.
Apr 08, 2013 Joyce added it
This series is way to similar to the Seaport Suspense series. I gave away the rest of the series of this, because I was not really crazy about it. Way too much "filler". I skipped pages because they were very predictable. This book felt like maybe it was rushed on the part of the author.
Dee Green
Apr 30, 2010 Dee Green rated it liked it
This book was okay, but really seemed like it was cramming religion down your throat. More of a drama than a mystery. I did enjoy it anyhow.
Lexi Snow
I though that it was one of the absolute worst books I have ever read!!! I absolutely hated it, but I did read the second book too, and It was also horrible!!
Jan 11, 2017 Jackie added it
Shelves: jackie-s-books
Good story about love and forgiveness with a,touch of suspense.
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Best-selling suspense novelist Kathy Herman has written twenty novels—including the Secrets or Roux River Bayou Series, Sophie Trace Series, the Seaport Suspense Series, and the Phantom Hollow Series—since retiring from her family’s Christian bookstore business. She and her husband, Paul, have three grown children and live in Tyler, Texas.
More about Kathy Herman...

Other Books in the Series

Sophie Trace Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Last Word (Sophie Trace Trilogy #2)
  • The Right Call (Sophie Trace Trilogy #3)

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“It’s not fair.” She folded her arms across her chest and pushed out her lower lip. “Why did God give us free will anyway? Everybody just gets in trouble.” “Not always. Think of all the good choices people make.” “But it’s not fair that someone gets hurt because a person makes a bad choice.” “I know. But don’t forget that sometimes we’re the ones who make choices that hurt someone else.” Kurt felt the sting of his own words and wondered if Emily noticed. “I’d still prefer having choices to being a puppet, wouldn’t you?” “I guess so.” 2 likes
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