Speak of the Devil is the latest by the author some call “the female John Grisham.” Allison Leotta served as a federal prosecutor in Washington, DC, for twelve years. She specialized in sex crimes, domestic violence, and crimes against children and now writes legal thrillers drawn from her experience. This acclaimed novelist is a weekly contributor to the Huffington Post, where she reality-checks TV crime dramas. Her blog, The Prime Time Crime Review, has been named one of the best legal blogs in America by the ABA. Leotta resides near Washington, DC, with her husband and two sons.
About this book: On the same night that prosecutor Anna Curtis gets engaged, a terrifying man known as Diablo leads a vicious attack on a brothel. Anna is assigned to investigate and bring “the devil” to justice. The challenge of her day job contrasts with the sweetness in her personal life, as she plans her wedding and shifts from being a single woman with a secret boyfriend to one half of a D.C. power couple and stepmother to a six-year-old girl.
The investigation soon leads Anna to MS-13, one of America’s most brutal street gangs. As Anna uncovers the full extent of Diablo’s depravity, she also discovers long-buried secrets, official lies, and a terrifying danger that comes straight to her doorstep. The facts she unearths in the case not only threaten her plans for a happy marriage, but everything she thought she knew about the past and present, good and evil, and the price of justice.
Judge this book by its cover? Strikes me as rather nondescript. The pages within are not.
Reminds me of…Lisa Scottoline. John Grisham.
Buy or borrow? How much do you love a gritty legal thriller?
Why did I read this book? For Touchstone for review.
Would I read another by this author? Probably not, but only because it’s a few shades too racy for me.
My take: Speak of the Devil is a superbly researched thriller that pays meticulous, but not mundane, attention to law enforcement and legal detail. Interesting characters, a chilling plot, fast-paced with pages that turn themselves, it’s nonetheless not a read for the faint of heart. A twist toward the end actually made me blink and eventually delivered a very unexpected outcome.
Not much to criticize except that it’s not a book written for me.
Thanks to Touchstone for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
Connect with the author online at allisonleotta.com.