With his breakout New York Times bestseller, The Tenth Justice, Brad Meltzer asked us to consider the insidious question: How much can you really trust your friends? Now he pits husband against wife in a legal thriller with the most chilling dilemma of all: How far would you go to save the one you love?
Sara Tate, a Manhattan assistant DA, is about to lose her job. But the case she nabs to secure her professional future is far more complicated—and deadly—than it first appears. While forces within the DA’s office conspire against her, an outside threat looms larger: Win the case or her attorney husband, Jared, will die. But Jared has been threatened as well. Strong-armed into defending the opposition, he learns that Sara will be killed should he lose the case. In court and at home, husband and wife go head-to-head while harboring the terrible secret of their motives. In a battle of rollercoaster emotions and shocking betrayals, Jared and Sara must face the unthinkable truth: No matter who wins, one of them may die.
Original Character Sketches from Dead Even
Occupation: Defense Attorney
Place of birth: Chicago, IL
Best day of your life: The day we got engaged, in that two-second interval when Sara realized I was asking her to marry me. View More
Place of birth: New York City
Best day of your life: Wedding Day. View More
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Brad Answers All
Q. Rafferty is an evil character. Do you find writing this type of antagonist therapeutic? And is a character with that base level of psychology (pure evil) more difficult to write than a character like Sara, who finds herself faced with moral ambiguity?
Rafferty was actually much harder to write because he was always the bad guy. That’s what he did. Name: Rafferty. Occupation: Bad Guy. Sure, he’s there to scare, but as a character, I’m far more interested in his back story as a loser kid from Hoboken (which only appears on two or three pages).
And is it therapeutic? I’m betting I saved at least seventy-five bucks worth of shrink’s bills just on the final scene alone.
Q. Both yourself and your wife are lawyers. Were the characters of Dead Even based on you and your wife?
No. Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve known my wife since ninth grade. I know how we interact. The opening scene—where Sara and Jared take on the coupon lady? Pretend it didn’t happen in a bagel store; pretend it was in Bethesda, Maryland; pretend Jared had a lot less hair. But are Sara and Jared us? Not a chance (which I can only prove by the fact that half our friends say I’m Jared and that my wife is Sara, while the other half say the reverse).
Need More Brad? Click below to see a full in-depth interview with him talking about his other books, writing in general, and why he always hates his author photos.