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The Intern


The Intern

Michele Campbell, a former lawyer and the author of such books as IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND and THE WIFE WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, combines both careers in THE INTERN. This fast-paced and seriously addictive thriller is set in the world of corrupt judges, violent police and an ambitious young Harvard Law student.

After the sudden death of her father, Madison “Maddy” Rivera was raised by a depressed, grieving single mother and forced to grow up far too early to tend to her younger brother, Danny. After a particularly bad month, the children go to live with their aunt, whose glamorous life was more stable than their own, but also more rigid. Exhausted from burning the candle at both ends to support her mother and care for her brother, Maddy thrived in the stable household, becoming a gifted student and enrolling at a prestigious girls’ school. Danny, on the other hand, found the rules too rigid and began to act out. Now, while Maddy sits in a class at Harvard Law School, Danny sits in a jail cell, arrested on federal drug charges.

"THE INTERN is completely engrossing, highly readable and totally compelling.... Michele Campbell has penned the perfect up-past-your-bedtime thriller."

While the world of Harvard Law is as prestigious and privileged as advertised, it is also home to a culture of competition. Although Maddy is at the top of her class, she knows that if anyone catches wind of Danny’s recent arrest, it will sully her good name and make her unhirable. All of this is particularly important as her professor, Judge Kathryn Conroy, is in search of a new intern, and she wants Maddy to apply. Conroy was an alum of Maddy’s high school, and it was a talk she gave there that pointed Maddy in the direction of the law. Conroy is Maddy’s idol, and she knows that working under her will open doors she never thought possible, especially coming from a working-class background.

Bolstered by the news, Maddy and her mother set out to visit Danny and determine what really happened the night he was arrested. He explains to them that he was set up by a friend, a major drug kingpin, and that the police, his lawyer and even the judge presiding over his case are all in on it, connected by a history of corruption. Their mother is convinced that Maddy can use her law school connections to fight for her brother, but she is unaware of the liability that his record could become for her future. Danny, on the other hand, is adamant that the women stay out of it. He knows that the men who framed and arrested him could just as easily come for them. At his mother’s urging, though, he reveals the name of the judge: Kathryn Conroy.

Now Maddy is at an impasse. She is still desperate to intern for Conroy, but she knows that if Conroy learns who her brother is, she’ll never get the position. At the same time, she wants to believe Danny, but her belief in justice and the law is unflappable. When it comes to Conroy, the idea of corruption is not just surprising but utterly outlandish, totally outside the realm of possibility. Torn between her two alliances, Maddy lies during her interview and tells Conroy that she is an only child, figuring that she’ll correct the lie when she can and, in the meantime, try to find ways to help her brother.

But when Maddy’s internship begins, the facade of her glamorous professor’s life starts to crumble. Maddy learns that Conroy’s husband was murdered, execution-style, years ago, and the judge has a dangerous stalker and more than a few dark secrets. Conroy’s own background is revealed in alternating parts in which she details the poverty she rose from and the difficult choices she made to further her career. Her story has echoes of Maddy’s, but while Maddy has always stuck to the straight and narrow, Conroy’s questionable choices have made her moral standing a bit more complicated.

With the two women thrust together, THE INTERN becomes a tale of cat and mouse, with the back-and-forth between them propelling the narrative in a fast-paced, explosive way. It is clear that Maddy is in well over her head, but Campbell carefully toys with the reader’s perception of Conroy. Is she the victim or the villain, and is she trying to help Maddy or use her as a pawn in her game of corruption? As they circle one another and the truth of Conroy’s dark past edges closer to the light, Campbell keeps readers on their toes. We wonder if the women ultimately will enact justice and save one another, or if their game will turn deadly.

THE INTERN is completely engrossing, highly readable and totally compelling. The characters, particularly Conroy, are cleverly crafted, and the implications of their moral standings and dubious choices layer poignant questions about class and ambition on this already gripping story. Michele Campbell has penned the perfect up-past-your-bedtime thriller.

Reviewed by Rebecca Munro on October 6, 2023

The Intern
by Michele Campbell

  • Publication Date: October 3, 2023
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 1250274974
  • ISBN-13: 9781250274977