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Authors: Kathy Herman

Tags: #Christian Fiction

A Shred of Evidence

BOOK: A Shred of Evidence

“Kathy Herman leaves the city of Baxter and takes readers on a suspenseful journey to the new town of Seaport where gossip threatens to destroy three family’s lives. A missing child, fearful heartache, and unfounded rumors make
A Shred of Evidence
a powerful suspense you won’t want to miss.”

Author of

“When I get myself out of bed an hour early in order to keep reading a book, I know I’m hooked! But I also squirmed as Kathy Herman’s suspense novel probed that uncomfortable gray zone between what’s concern and what’s gossip. The book begs for discussion and couldn’t be more timely for both church and society.”

Author of The Yada Yada Prayer Group novels

“Deception, lies, and slander ensnare the town of Seaport, but there comes as well the power of words to heal and move mountains.”

Author of
Betrayal in Paris
The Trumpet at Twisp

“Kathy Herman’s A
Shred of Evidence
, a chilling cautionary tale, exposes the destructive power of suspicion. You’ll never again hear a rumor and deem it harmless.”

Author of The Women of Ivy Manor series

“In A
Shred of Evidence
, Kathy Herman gives her readers true-to-life characters, a plot that could be fresh from today’s headlines, and plenty of food for thought.”

Author of In
Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed
, and
To Grace Surrendered

“Kathy Herman has the gift of teaching through fiction. A
Shred of Evidence
pools lovable characters with fantastic settings and a poignant story guaranteed to squeeze your heart. The message clings to your soul long after you finish the book.”

Author of
Forgotten Justice

Shred of Evidence
gripped me from the first page, and I was reluctant to put it down until all questions were resolved. It’s a breathtaking story with a thought-provoking message written by a storyteller who gets better with each book. You don’t want to miss this one!”


“A well-written, unique, and thought-provoking drama with a definite moral lesson on how gossip can ruin lives.”

H. R
, Author of The Angel Delaney mysteries,
The McAllister Files
, and The Jennie McGrady mysteries

To Him who is both the Giver and the Gift


’m so grateful for those who support me in prayer, those who take time to encourage me—and those who patiently instruct me so that the scenarios I create are realistic.

I owe a special word of thanks to Will Ray, professional investigator, State of Oregon, for taking his valuable time to advise me on the chapters pertinent to DNA evidence, interrogations, and law enforcement procedures. Will, you’re always so generous with your time and knowledge; I hope someday we get a chance to meet face to face.

To Melissa Mitchell, director of Loss Prevention at LifeWay Christian Stores in Nashville, Tennessee, for fielding a specific question I had regarding FBI procedures.

I’m grateful also to my friend Carolyn Walker, an ardent advocate for families and children who works with the Texas Foster Family Association, for her input regarding the procedural aspects of child protective services.

I wish to extend a loving thank you to my sister Pat Phillips not only for being a zealous prayer warrior, but also for your perfectly timed words of encouragement. How God is using you, baby girl!

To Susie Killough, Judi Wieghat, and the ladies in my Bible study groups at Bethel Bible Church, and my friends at LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas, for your heartfelt prayer support.

To my readers who encourage me with e-mails and cards and personal testimonies, thanks for sharing how God has used
my words to touch you. He uses you to bless me more often than you know!

To my novelist friends in ChiLibris, thanks for encouraging and challenging me—and for your many prayers on my behalf.

To my editor Rod Morris, thanks for feeding me “all the right stuff so I can continue to grow as a writer. It amazes me what you see that I don’t. How grateful I am for your insights and your gentle way of conveying them.

To the staff at Multnomah, whose commitment to honor God through the power of story is so very evident. Thanks for the privilege of working with such a dedicated group of professionals.

And to my husband, Paul, who knew long before I did that thoughts were stirring in my soul—words that needed to be harnessed and characters who needed to speak. How grateful I am for your nudging. And for all the time you’ve unselfishly given to accompany me on the journey. It’s as though we have but one heartbeat.

And most of all I thank my Heavenly Father, who uses my stories both to challenge and to heal. You have taken my words all over the globe and blessed them beyond measure. What a privilege to be in Your service!


The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to a man’s inmost parts

ulie Hamilton dabbed her eyes, then dropped a limp Kleenex in the waste can and stared at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. At least the puffiness had smoothed out the stress lines around her eyes.

She cupped her hands under the faucet and splashed cool water on her cheeks, breathing slowly through her mouth until the residual sobs finally stopped.

The police had months ago exhausted their questioning of Ross. If only that reporter had been as merciful, perhaps they wouldn’t be moving to Seaport. Not that relocating was going to solve their problems. As long as Ross continued to hide behind a wall of silence, her daunting guilt would only scream louder.

Julie exhaled a sigh of desolation. What happened to the life she thought she had signed up for, the girlhood dream-come-true?

She heard Sarah Beth singing in the other room and knew which part of the DVD had come on. Her daughter had been watching the same one over and over for nearly two hours. Julie wondered how long it had been since she had held Sarah Beth’s attention for even half that long.

The phone rang. Julie didn’t answer it.
This is the Hamiltons’. Leave a message after the beep and we’ll call you back

“Julie, it’s Mother. Would you please pick up? I’m not going to stop calling till you talk to me.”

“I don’t want to talk to you,” Julie mumbled.

“I’m waiting … You might as well pick up the phone because I’m not going to be put off any more … Yoo-hoo, Julie, pick up the phone … I’m not leaving …”

Julie marched into the bedroom and grabbed the receiver off the cradle. “What do you want, Mother?”

“I want you to stop avoiding me.”

“Don’t be so paranoid. I’m avoiding everyone.”

“You can’t keep doing this.”

“I’m thirty-five years old. If I feel a need to keep avoiding people, that’s my business.”

“It’s not healthy.”

“It’s a way to cope. Why can’t you understand that? Ross and I need space to deal with what’s happened. The media’s driving us crazy.”

“You don’t think your father and I are hurting?”

“Of course, you are. But you can’t possibly understand what this has done to us.”

“How can we when your
won’t let us come visit?”

“Will you stop calling him that? Having you stay here is just too difficult right now.”

“I never would’ve believed my own daughter would think I’m a burden.”

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