The Intern book coverCorrupted Justice

Author: Michele Campbell

What happens when you get your dream job, but you must jeopardize it for your family? What happens when the family in question is your screw-up brother, and you’re the hard working, good kid, the one who is always left behind to pick up your brother’s mess?

Madison Rivera is faced with this very quandary before she even gets her elusive internship with world-famous judge Kathryn Conroy. Madison is an up-and-coming law student. She’s worked hard for everything she has ever gotten, and now it is starting to pay off. But her brother was recently caught in a drug raid and will be sentenced by the very judge for whom Madison is working. As if this isn’t complicated enough, Madison’s brother claims it was all rigged. He’s innocent. The cop is dirty. The lawyer is dirty. The judge is dirty.

Conflicted, Maidson digs a little, at first for some basic information, but as she gets closer to the judge and her strange, elusive way of life, her paranoid routines, her ultra secure home, and the man who is stalking her, Madison begins to suspect that maybe this time, her brother didn’t screw up. Maybe he’s telling the truth.

The power of The Intern is really in the judge’s story. We have two fluctuating timelines. Madison, naïve but smart, is the catalyst. She steps into this sinister world and starts to notice that the puzzle pieces don’t quite fit together. But the judge is her idol, and the woman’s unexpected offer of friendship just adds another layer. Through Madison’s eyes we see the red flags, but we also feel the hopes of a youth who still believes in the system and the fears of a girl who’s gone off the rails and can’t get back to safety now.

scales of justice

Image by Edward Lich from Pixabay

The second timeline, the powerful one, is Kathryn’s story. This is where the book sings. Madison’s portion is slow, filled with guilt and speculation, only gradually getting up to full speed. But with Kathryn, we’re going 100 miles an hour from the beginning, and we’re following a very dangerous road. Kathryn, for all her corruption, is just as much a victim as those poor souls who leave her courtroom never to be seen again. It’s her story that truly showcases the pathos and the thrilling, edge-of-your-seat consequences. While Madison is the silent sleuth in the night, Kathryn is the woman bloodied, running in fear and rage, planning to take all the bastards down with her. It’s Kathryn who makes the story.

What starts slowly soon gains ground and the plotlines converge. Not necessarily believably, but who cares? The story is just good and gripping. We’re in it, and we don’t want to leave until the last bullet bounces, smoking, off the wall.

The conclusion has both a deus ex machina save and a satisfying twist. The about-face isn’t the best, although there was some precedent for it, but the twist and the plan are literally to die for. Is The Intern believable? Heck no, at least not as far as Madison’s involvement is concerned. Is it spine-tingling, edge-of-the-seat? YES. I was interested from the beginning and found myself going from entertained to absolutely entangled. The Intern is a fun legal thriller with a soul, a catch, and lots of collateral damage. Recommended.

– Frances Carden

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Frances Carden
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