True to the Law
After reading The Last Renegade, the first book in this series, I couldn’t imagine how Goodman could possibly follow up such a delightful and enjoyable tale with anything better. Now I know since she’s outdone herself with this book.
Set again in Bitter Springs, Wyoming, the story opens with detective Cobb Bridger being hired in Chicago by Andrew Mackey III to find Gertrude Morrow, who Andrew says has stolen something from him. Although Cobb asks, Andrew refuses to say what was stolen. He only wants Tru found.
Using the leads he finds in her Chicago room, Cobb tracks Tru to Bitter Springs where she is the town’s schoolteacher. Cobb has had lots of time to consider his assignment as he tracked her, and something doesn’t sit right for him about Andrew’s story. So instead of notifying Andrew right away, Cobb decides to study Tru to see if he can figure out what she’s taken.
The denizens of Bitter Springs, however, give Cobb a run for his money as detectives. With the help of the delightful Rabbit and Finn, boys who relish knowing everyone’s business, the townspeople see through Cobb’s cover of being a ne’er-do-well gambler and drifter, and have the mayor appoint him as acting sheriff, much to Tru’s delight since she’s the one who ferreted out Cobb’s essential goodness and fairness.
Andrew and then his cousin Frank arrive in town after Cobb alerts Andrew to Tru’s whereabouts. When Andrew unexpectedly asks Tru to marry him, much to her surprise, Cobb decides that Tru isn’t a thief. So why did Andrew call her one?
Everything loveable about the first book is solidly in place in this second novel: The charming characters, the witty dialogue, the intricate plot, and the beautifully described interactions of a diverse group combating the elements in the Old West. In addition, this story wonderfully tackles the sticky abstracts of justice and greed.
Having read the preview of Nat Church and the Runaway Bride included in this edition, I have a feeling the next book will be even better than the previous ones.