The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins

lawladyReview of The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins

Could this be a case for listening to your parents?  Valeria Brinton is warned against marrying Eustace Woodville as he is also warned against marrying her. As a new bride Valeria starts to get a feeling something is not quite right with her new life married to Eustace.  She starts to unravel a puzzle of the name Eustace Woodville being a false name. As she pries into his secrets wondering why he has married her under a false identity is she prepared for what else she finds.

A false identity is nothing compared to the secret he is trying to hide; the knowledge of having stood trial for poisoning his first wife. Valeria is convinced he is innocent, not only by her assessment of his demeanor but by the trial outcome of inconclusive means to find him guilty.

Valeria sets out to prove his innocence and is met with resistance along the way, as a woman of the nineteenth century her determination is not looked approvingly on.  Can the few allies she has help her find the truth she seeks? Is Dexter, the crazed half man she befriends along the way an ally or just a danger as she has been told by many.

‘I mean to win you back, a man vindicated before the world, without a stain on his character’ – Valeria Brinton

Refreshing story centering around a strong female character defying the societal qualms against a woman of action during this time period.  The pages kept needing to be turned as I followed Valeria along from hurdle to hurdle, how was she going to clear this one? Is she closer to the truth or will it stay locked away with the dead and her husband who has left her since she found out his secret. Will she still want him when she discovers her answers? This was one of my Top Ten picks for 2013.

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