For twelve years, Allison Leotta was a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., where she specialized in sex crimes, domestic violence, and crimes against children. Drawing on this experience, she now writes legal thrillers, for which she has been dubbed “the female John Grisham.” Her goal is for John Grisham to be dubbed “the male Allison Leotta.”
After publishing her debut, LAW OF ATTRACTION, Simon & Schuster asked Allison to continue writing about her fictional sex-crimes prosecutor, Anna Curtis. A series was born! There are now four books in the Anna Curtis series, and a fifth is in the works.
LAW OF ATTRACTION earned a starred review in Library Journal, which said, “In this riveting debut, Leotta joins the big league with pros like Linda Fairstein and Lisa Scottoline.” Allison’s second novel, DISCRETION, was named one of the Top Ten Books of 2012 by Strand Magazine and Best Suspense Novel of 2012 by Romance Reviews Today. Her third novel, SPEAK OF THE DEVIL, was named a Best Book of 2013 by Suspense Magazine. The fourth book in the Anna Curtis series, A GOOD KILLING, will be released this May.
USA Today says Allison’s writing is “as real as it gets.”
Allison is also a contributor to the Huffington Post, where she reality-checks TV crime dramas like Law & Order: SVU. Her own blog, The Prime-Time Crime Review, was named one of the best legal blogs in America by the American Bar Association. Allison has provided legal commentary for outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and Reuters TV. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Mystery Writers of America.
A graduate of Michigan State University and Harvard Law School, Allison lives outside of Washington, D.C., with her husband, Michael Leotta, and their two sons.
The backstory, in Allison’s words:
I started writing novels because I saw heartbreaking tragedies, acts of shocking evil, and vulnerable victims every day – but also moments of real heroism, true love, and healing. Given the stories I witnessed, the rich cast of characters I worked with, and my lifelong love of fiction, I had to write some books.
I wanted to create stories that would both entertain and teach about the way the criminal justice system works—and doesn’t work. At the heart of many of these stories is the intersection of love and hate. Many crimes stem from love gone wrong, and are committed by the victim’s most trusted ally: a spouse, lover, friend, or parent. My protagonist, sex-crimes and domestic-violence prosecutor Anna Curtis, sees the worst things that people do to their loved ones. My books explore Anna’s dark childhood, which drew her to this job, as well as the effects that living in this violent world have on her personal life today, as she struggles to have a happy and normal romantic life.
My first novel was written in the spaces of my life between prosecuting and mommying. I started writing while I was pregnant with my first son. I would wake up at 5:00 a.m. and write for a couple hours before heading to work. I wrote at night and on weekends. After my son was born, I wrote during his naps and after bedtime. Now, the sound of a softly snoring baby triggers a Pavlovian response in me to start typing.