Goodreads summary of The Intern by Michele Campbell (review below):
A young Harvard law student falls under the spell of a charismatic judge in this timely and thrilling novel about class, ambition, family and murder.
Madison Rivera lands the internship of a lifetime working for Judge Kathryn Conroy. But Madison has a secret that could destroy her career. Her troubled younger brother Danny has been arrested, and Conroy is the judge on his case.
When Danny goes missing after accusing the judge of corruption, Madison’s quest for answers brings her deep into the judge’s glamorous world. Is Kathryn Conroy a mentor, a victim, or a criminal? Is she trying to help Madison or use her as a pawn? And why is somebody trying to kill her?
As the two women circle each other in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game, will they save each other, or will betrayal leave one of them dead?
Reason #1- Morally Grey, Female Characters
While there is a large cast of supporting characters, The Intern focuses on Madison and Kathryn. Both are strong, independent, fierce women. Both are also very flawed. And both also harbor a lot of family secrets. Morally grey or not, you will root for both characters to escape their secrets and live through their plights.
Beyond them is a list of characters that run from morally grey (male and female) to outright evil. All play a part in Madison and Kathryn’s lives. There are many characters, but I never lost track of them. They were flushed out just enough to be three-dimensional without taking too much time away from the main plot/characters or bogging down the pacing.
Reason #2- Organized Crime
Other than Don Winslow’s latest series (see my review of the second book in the series, City of Dreams), there aren’t many stories coming out (that I’ve read) involving the mafia/mob/organized crime. I found this a very refreshing twist to The Intern. There are too many spoilers for me to go into the hows and whys, but it is a crucial plot point. Michele Campbell does a beautiful job, hitting on all the correct markings of organized crime without going over the top. Therefore, she avoids it just becoming a run-of-the-mill, obvious take. The interconnection of all the players and how those connections start and grow are intricate to the story. Additionally, Michele Campbell often uses it for a multitude of plot twists.
Reason #3- The Not So Predictable Part
I will admit I thought I had this book pegged from the beginning. I hoped the execution of the apparent storyline would make the read worth it. Well. I was damn, dead wrong. Michele Campbell could have taken the easy way out without the premise of The Intern, but she does not. The story takes turns that fit in with the story and provides for some whiplash, gasping moments. In other words, don’t be me. The Intern is not what it seems on any level. That’s all I can say about that.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio for the advanced audio of The Intern by Michele Campbell, which releases on October 3rd
Reason #4- Legal Thriller
I’m a sucker for an excellent legal thriller. Like other parts of The Intern, Michele Campbell takes the structure of a legal thriller and turns it on its head. She doesn’t lean into the typical courtroom drama. However, she creates a different type of legal thriller using multiple moving pieces. Between organized crime, the FBI, Kathryn’s status as a judge, and Madison’s work in law school- law and legalities run right through The Intern without stepping foot in a courtroom.
Reason #5- Mystery
Beneath the surface plot of The Intern, there are multiple mysteries to be solved. This isn’t just about Madison’s brother Danni and Kathryn’s past. While those are connected to mysteries, they aren’t the only focal points. Instead, Michele Campbell delves deeper into the story by providing different mysteries to keep readers guessing until the very end. And that end is entirely wild, yet totally believable. It isn’t senseless or over-the-top. Each mystery has a satisfying conclusion that readers will have no issue buying into.