Quick Review (read on for full review)
A tense short story that held my attention to the very end. A good lesson in creating believable, well-imagined characters. 5 / 5
After committing the crime of breaking into a house and robbing it of any valuables, three very different men find themselves trapped in a building, surrounded by the police.
There appears to be little if no chance of escape. And, should the police catch them with the big pile of stolen goods still in their possession, they know for certain that they will be spending the next few years in prison.
With two of the three men armed, how will they react to this twist in their fortunes?
He knew little English, but already he had gathered that the word “busies” meant the police.
For a short story, Outside the Law is really quite tense. I think it’s down to the clear, concise characterisation by the author. The three men were all very different. They each have differing reasons to turning to crime, different reasons for being there and have very different characters and backgrounds to each other. As their options fall away, it’s no wonder they all respond differently to the pressure they find themselves under.
As for the ending…it’s very good. You suspect you know what is going to happen but still you are glued to the story. I can’t say any more for fear of giving too much away.
But I will say is this: when a writer knows his characters well, the story just flows. And this is what we have here. For any writers out there who want to read what is, in my opinion, a great demonstration of creating well-defined and believable characters, you could do a lot worse than taking a look at this.