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True to the law
by Jo Goodman
(Berkley, $7.99 PG-13) ISBN 978-0-425-26416-4
Cliches meet obvious coincidences in True to the Law by Jo Goodman, which is, indeed, about a woman named Tru but is otherwise a misnomer.  After a 19th-century mobster sends Cobb (an unfortunate nickname for Jacob) Bridger after an alleged thief, Cobb eventually locates her: the school teacher of Bitter Springs, Wyoming.

Naturally, Tru Morrow is lovely and intelligent and driven—and lily-white in her purity.  Not a thief, to say the least.  But, Cobb Bridger, though attracted and intrigued, is a realist down to his lawman-gone-private bones.  He sets up camp in Bitter Springs, is put up as the new marshal, and ensures that a letter reporting Miss Morrow's whereabouts is sent (albeit by the longest route).  He then proceeds to fall in love with the damsel who doesn't realize she's in distress, and has to play the daring knight, though in a dusty Stetson instead of shining armor.

As slow-moving as molasses, Jo Goodman's latest cliche-driven novel, True to the Law, is nonetheless an interesting character study supported by well-crafted dialogue, and will be a happy addition to the collections of Diana Palmer fans everywhere.

--Sarrah Knight

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