Within the Law
by Chelle Cordero
Within the Law – Where Murder and Love Collide
reviewed by Todd A. Fonseca
Eight years after the abduction and murder of his fiancé, Tom Hughes throws back his last drink pondering the next day’s hearing. Her killer had been found. Consumed with rage and wanting to confront the man who took his future away, Tom leaves the bar and stumbles upon an attractive well dressed woman named Alli whose badly bloodied her knee after twisting her ankle. Uncertain why such a woman would be found so late in a rather dangerous part of town, Tom comes to her aid. Though cautious of a complete stranger wanting to help her, Tom insists ensuring that Alli does not suffer the safe fate as his fiancé years before.At the hearing, Tom begins to think perhaps his life can finally move on with the killer to be tried and a new woman in his life. His dreams quickly unravel when he learns that Alli is the killer’s attorney. Taunted by the man as they leave the courtroom, Tom beats him so badly the killer is hospitalized and later found murdered. With his life turned upside down, Tom is now accused of murder and Alli must prove his innocence.
Chelle Cordero begins Within The Law with a great setup of murder, betrayal, and plot twists that engage the reader immediately. As I read the opening chapters, I was reminded somewhat of Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent. Cordero then takes a turn I didn’t expect, and the opening story arc closes. In Ken Follet style, the novel subsequently explores the tragic sequence of events keeping Tom and Alli from being together. The novel is, therefore, less courtroom murder mystery and more star-crossed love story.
Cordero’s writing and plot is engaging and entertaining. One is drawn to Tom and Alli and their story just as they are drawn to one another. The dialogue is real and crisp and the novel moves quickly. Within the Law makes a great summer beach read.
Tom gave up on ever falling in love again the day that he buried his high school sweetheart and fiancé. He started a career in law enforcement just so that he could find her murderer and rapist.Just when he is about to see justice done, he meets Alli Davis-the defense attorney for the murdering rapist who took his love from him.
Alli and Tom share a mutual and passionate attraction but Alli refuses to make any commitments. She is hiding a huge secret. Tom falls in love with her and pursues her despite a false arrest, kidnapping and attempt on his life.