The Intern by Michele Campbell

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: October 3rd, 2023

Genre: Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Suspense, Adult, Legal Thriller, Contemporary, Adult Fiction, Crime

Purchase Links: Kindle | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

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?

First Line:

She loved the way her professor moved.

The Intern by Michele Campbell

Important things you need to know about the book:

The Intern is a fast-paced book that burns through the storyline. For the most part, the storyline keeps up with the author’s fast dialogue and pacing. But, it does get a bit choppy (not laggy, choppy) in the middle of the book (during Kathryn’s storyline, when her co-worker gets blown up). The choppiness didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book, but it did distract me from what was happening.

The Intern is told from a dual point of view: Madison in the present day and Kathryn in the past. When the author switches, she clearly states who it is and, in most cases, where that person is. I did not have an issue following the storyline back and forth.

There are trigger warnings in The Intern. If any of these triggers you, I suggest not reading the book. They are:

  • Violence: This book has a lot of violence, both on and off the page.
  • Gore: Again, the gore is both on and off the page.
  • Abusive Relationship: I did go back and forth when deciding to put this as a warning. But Kathryn is in an abusive relationship with her half-brother and his mother. It goes back years (to when she was 12 years old). The abuse is primarily verbal and psychological, but there are instances of physical abuse.
  • Assault: In prison, Madison’s brother, Danny, is assaulted. There are attempts of assault on Madison throughout the book.
  • Cancer: Kathryn’s mother had leukemia in the past and present of The Intern.
  • Death: There is a lot of death in The Intern. The deaths range from accidents to murder.
  • Gun Violence: There is gun violence throughout the book, both on and off the page.
  • Police Brutality/Corruption: This is a massive theme throughout The Intern. Almost every police officer/correctional officer, except a couple, is in cahoots with Charlie.

Sexual Content: There are some light kissing scenes, mainly between Kathryn and her deceased husband. There are implications of Kathryn’s mother sleeping with Eddie at the beginning of the book.

Language: There is explicit language.

Setting: The Intern is set in Boston and the surrounding suburbs (northeast and south). Some scenes are set in Washington, D.C., New York, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. The author didn’t give a ton of detail about Boston or any of the other states. However, the author provided enough for me to agree that the author did her research.

Plot Synopsis (as spoiler-free as I can get):

A Harvard student, Madison is thrilled to be in a class taught by her idol, Judge Kathryn Conroy. She is even more delighted when the judge offers her an internship in her chambers. But Madison’s joy turns to disbelief when her brother, arrested on drug charges, tells her that Kathryn is dirty. Then, he goes missing. So, it is up to Madison to find out where he is and if Kathryn is dirty. But Kathryn has her secrets. With Madison wary and looking for answers and Kathryn needing to protect hers, there will be a showdown, and someone will get hurt. When the dust settles, who will be left standing?

Main Characters:

Madison Rivera: I liked her, even if I did find her slightly annoying. She had to work hard to get to where she was. But, once her brother dropped his bombshell, Madison immediately acted. She was determined to help him and find him when he disappeared. Her determination, her wanting to network, and (if I’m going, to be honest) her being nosey were a massive part of why Madison ended up embroiled in Kathryn’s issues. There was a point in the book where I wondered if she would become expendable, but that was put to rest by the end. I am glad that her storyline ended the way it did.

Judge Kathryn Conroy: I am not going to mince words here. She had a crap life up to the age of twelve. Her mother was self-absorbed and an awful mother. Her father treated Kathryn like a dirty secret. Uncle Ray skeeved me out. The worst thing that could have happened to her was her mother getting sick and her going to live with Eddie. Kathryn was set up from that age on to become a part of a vast criminal network, and no matter how many times she tried to get out, they found ways to pull her back in. I didn’t judge her for doing what she did after her husband’s death. I would have done the same thing if I were in her shoes. I was just surprised she kept it a secret from Ray for a long time. I also would have struck the same deal that she did with Madison.

My review:

The Intern was a well-written thriller that kept me glued to the book. I didn’t know where the plotline would take me from one page to another. When I finished the book, I felt like I should double-check the locks on my doors. I was that unnerved.

The mystery/thriller angle was terrific. As I said, I didn’t know what I was getting from one page to another. There were some interesting and surprising twists thrown in throughout the book. But the one that surprised me was what happened with Ray at the end of the book. I was expecting something else.

The end of The Intern was typical. I liked how the author wrapped up the storylines. I had no issues believing the end of Madison’s storyline. The end to Kathryn’s was a little more unbelievable, but it didn’t matter. I enjoyed it.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, NetGalley, and Michele Campbell for allowing me to read and review this ARC of The Intern. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

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