Reviewed by Donna
TITLE: Law and Disorder
SERIES: Casus Fortuitus #2
AUTHOR: Brooke Edwards
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 141 Pages
RELEASE DATE: August 31, 2017
James Carter and Derek Moore fought their way through attraction and misunderstandings to get to where they are today. Sure, they’re still figuring out how to make things work between their careers and families, but their whole world is rose-tinted with the glow of new love.
Reality hits with the force of a speeding truck when a criminal starts waging a campaign of terror against the justice system. Suddenly law enforcement officers and lawyers all across the city are living in fear as their careers put them right in the cross-hairs of a deranged killer and James and Derek’s honeymoon period falls to ruins.
With James’s protectiveness driving a wedge between them and Derek pulling away as the target on his back grows even bigger, their future is thrown into jeopardy. While Derek struggles with demons from his past, it’s up to James to catch the killer and put them back on the path to their happily ever after.
This is the sequel to ‘Mens Rea’, published in the 2015 Dreamspinner Press Daily Dose Anthology.
Before picking up this book I re-read the short story Mens Rea, which precedes Law and Disorder. Mens Rea is the story of James and Derek meeting and getting together, so I figured that knowing that story could only benefit this one. But…I’m not so sure it’s necessary. Because that first tale is so short, there’s little time for character development. I went into Law and Disorder assuming I knew these men, but then realized that I didn’t. I think that threw me off a bit, and my enjoyment of the beginning of the story suffered. I should also note that this story is written in present tense, which I always feel uncomfortable reading until I get through a few chapters. And even then I’ll randomly get put off the story if the tense stands out to me again. So, giving the author the benefit of the doubt (because I did enjoy this story after I hit about 30%), I’m going to shelf my initial issues under – it’s not you, it’s me.
James and Derek have been dating for three months, but with their hectic work schedules they struggle to find the time to see each other. James is the veteran cop, fifteen years Derek’s senior, and he often wonders why this utterly gorgeous young man is interested in being with him. The age gap doesn’t matter to Derek except when James acts as though Derek needs looking after. When the bizarre slaughter of animals escalates into the butchering of people connected to Derek – well, you can see how James might go a little overboard with the protection.
It felt as though the plot took a little long to start gaining momentum, but when it did it was rather interesting. I loved the strange animal kills that the author included, it was something a bit different from the norm, but in the end the “bad guy” wasn’t overly exciting.
The author provided an interesting cast of characters, including a slew of secondary characters, some of who are obviously going to get their own story. As for James and Derek, Ms. Edwards did a commendable job of convincing me of their relationship despite the age gap, and despite the many hours they spent apart at their respective jobs. I loved the way they craved each other and the way they couldn’t wait to get their hands on each other when they did manage to get together.
Overall I enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more of this series.