- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition edition (August 6, 2013)
- ISBN-10: 145164485X
- Source: Author
D.C. sex-crimes prosecutor Anna Curtis barely has time to celebrate her recent engagement before she’s called in to investigate a horrific crime. A group of men from MS-13, a local street gang, attack a brothel, leaving a wake of brutal murder and rape. The group is led by Diablo, a man with cosmetic enhancements that give him the appearance of the devil himself. Anna’s investigation isn’t going to be easy; locals are afraid to speak up against Diablo for fear of the repercussions.
In this midst of this investigation, Anna becomes immersed in wedding plans. Her fiance, Jack, is the chief of the D.C. homicide unit. He and his daughter, Olivia, are still recovering after the death of his wife, Nina, killed a few years ago by the very gang Anna is investigating. Anna’s personal and professional life converge when she becomes the focus of MS-13. Despite Jack’s pleas that she step down as prosecutor of the case, Anna stands strong, refusing to fall victim to her fear. In her investigations, however, she reveals a secret that is so unbelievable that it risks her future with Jack.
Leotta’s own history as D.C.’s sex-crimes prosecutor for over a decade is clearly evident in Speak of the Devil. From the detailed information about legal procedures and the spot-on characterization of the gang members, Leotta really knows her stuff. She doesn’t sugar coat the violence and depravity involved in her line of work. She doesn’t lessen the blow in her descriptions of the brutal crimes, instead accurately detailing the facts. But what stands out for me most in this novel is Anna’s character. Her career could drag her down emotionally, but she won’t allow that. She stands up for herself and what she believes in, never allowing anyone other than herself to influence her actions and path in life. While that means that her life isn’t necessarily always the happiest, at least she is true to herself and what she believes in.
This is my first sampling of Leotta’s writing and I cannot wait to dive in to the two previous books in the series. Leotta is a skilled writer of a calibre that puts her above other authors she’s been compared to (who will remain nameless *cough* Grisham *cough*). Her writing is a leap above other legal thrillers. I expect nothing but excellence from Leotta! I know this is a challenge she can meet (and exceed!). Highly, highly recommended.
Watch Allison herself discuss her writing of Speak of the Devil: