Lisa Scottoline, writes about inspiration for new novel, Corrupted.
They say love is blind. They also say justice is blind.
But only one of these statements is true.
I wanted to examine love and justice, and I did in my new novel, Corrupted.
Where did I get the idea for the book?
Even though my novels are fiction, they spring from an emotional truth in my life, and the emotional truth of Corrupted comes from the fact that I never understand people who say they have no regrets.
Because to me, that means they’ve never made a mistake.
As a human being, I've made mistakes.
And I have more than a few regrets.
And there have been times when I wished I had a second chance.
That thought gnaws at the back of my mind and keeps me awake for more nights than I care to admit, so I gave that problem to my heroine, Bennie Rosato, who's a great trial lawyer with a big-time regret:
Thirteen years ago, she made a mistake with a young client, losing a case she should have won, and part of the reason she made that mistake was because she had fallen in love.
Love is blind.
The other reason that Bennie lost the case was because the judge was completely corrupt, and here's where Corrupted is also grounded in literal truth - a judicial scandal in the juvenile justice system that rocked Pennsylvania. The scandal was called Kids for Cash, during which two state-court judges conspired to unjustly send children to juvenile prison for even the slightest thing - like fighting in the cafeteria or posting jokes on Facebook.
Why did the judges do such a horrendous thing?
Unbeknownst to everyone, the judges had an ownership interest in the juvenile prison. They actually had a quota of children they had to send to the prison, for which they were paid $2.8 million.
In real life, those judges were sent to prison for decades, but what I wanted to do is to examine their innocent victims – children who were incarcerated for years, torn from their families, taken from their schools, their lives derailed.
Can they ever get justice, after past injustice?
What happens when those in power aren’t looking out for the most vulnerable among us, but in fact, are seeking to profit from their pain?
In Corrupted, Bennie gets the second chance she wanted when the same client finds himself accused of murder and begs her to defend him. And when the client comes back into Bennie's life, he brings with him the man she'd fallen in love with, whom she’d let get away.
Bennie jumps at the case. She knows the vulnerable need a voice, and she wants to set everything right.
Her client’s life.
Her own life.
Corrupted asks the question, what would we do if we got a second chance?
I do hope you read Corrupted and I would love to hear what you think about it. Every reader’s opinion matters to me, and I welcome your reviews on Amazon.