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"The Lineup," by Liad Shoham

The Lineup, Liad Shoham
Harper Collins

Jeff Glor talks to Liad Shoham about, "The Lineup."

Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?

Liad Shoham: "Lineup" is my fifth book. In all of my previous books, there was one protagonist who led the plot. This time, I wanted to write a book from different perspectives. When a crime occurs, it affects the lives of many people. I wanted to tell the story through the eyes of the victim, the criminal, their families, the police, attorneys, judges, media, and crime organizations. I believe that not only is the story more dramatic and richer, but the reader also receives a wider panoramic picture. The reader understands how things really work, what happens "behind the scenes" and the various interests of all of the players. In this regard, the television series "The Wire" had an enormous effect on me. I watched it with my wife when she was towards the end of her pregnancy, and was having difficulty sleeping. Through watching the series, I realized how powerful it was to see a dramatic story told from various angles.

JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?

LS: "Lineup" begins with a rape. The police have no suspects. The victim's father refuses to give up. He spends nights under his daughter's apartment to protect her. One of those times, he identifies a suspicious person walking down the street and convinces his daughter, and later the police and attorneys, that the person was the rapist. When the suspect is caught by the police, he sits silently in an interrogation room. He is hiding another crime that he committed. As a writer, the question of what he was hiding bothered me. As usual, when I feel stuck, I consulted my wife. When I got married, I didn't realize that I was marrying a "criminal mastermind." Her solutions always surprise me. In this book, the ease with which she devised crimes that I would think about for days surprised me very much. In truth, it also somewhat scared me.

JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?

LS: I am an attorney by profession, and still work at a law firm in practice. I do not think that this will change anytime soon. After my books became bestsellers in Israel, I spoke with my wife about leaving the profession. Her answer was: "that's a wonderful idea...for after we get divorced." In seriousness, I believe that my work as an attorney has contributed a lot to my work as a writer. Firstly, the professional knowledge allows me to tell believable stories about the legal system and justice. Mainly, however, my work as an attorney allows me to go out and meet people, hear their stories, and escape the solitude of working as a writer. I think that this is one of the reasons why all of the protagonists in my books are "flesh and blood" characters that the readers can relate to.

JG: What else are you reading right now?

LS: I always perform thorough research before starting to write a book. The next book that I'm planning to write is a thriller about corruption in Israeli municipal government, and the relationship between money, power and organized crime. Therefore, I am currently reading the state comptroller's reports about the municipal government, as well as academic research performed on the matter. I must confess that it is very depressing to understand how things really work, and where our tax money is going.

JG: What's next for you?

LS: I am now in an exciting period of my life. "Lineup" is due to soon be released in seven languages. I am particularly excited by the publication in the United States, which was and is a dream come true. Next year, my latest book, "Asylum City," will be released in many countries. The book relates to the problem of African refugees flowing into Israel. "Asylum City" is being developed into a television series, which I am very involved in. It is both exciting and interesting to enter a new field and learn about it. As I said, I am on the brink of writing a new book, which I am very excited about.

For more on "The Lineup" visit the Harper Collins website.