date published: November 19, 2007

5 questions with...

David HospDavid Hosp 
by Josh B. Wardrop

Massachusetts attorney-cum-novelist David Hosp has made his mark in the legal thriller genre with three acclaimed novels, the latest of which, Innocence, is set in and around Boston. Hosp reads from Innocence on November 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Charlestown Branch Library. Call 617-242-1248 for information.

Q: How did you make the journey from the legal world to the literary one?
By accident. Writing was just a hobby for me that I pursued while riding the commuter ferry to Boston everyday, and I fell into a situation where an agent read my manuscript.

Q: Do you get tired of the names “John Grisham” and “Scott Turow” invariably being mentioned in your reviews?
I don’t take any offense, certainly (laughs). I understand that they’ve become shorthand for describing books in the legal thriller genre.

Q: As a still-practicing attorney, has your “moonlighting” earned you notoriety in the Massachusetts legal community?
I take my share of good-natured ribbing, but the response has been mostly positive. My partners understand that my writing’s never gotten in the way of the law—my clients are my top priority.

Q: Your current book Innocence was inspired by work you did with The Innocence Project, a group that helps exonerate wrongly convicted plaintiffs. Were there ethical issues in writing a book based on real-life events?
I follow pretty strict guidelines. My characters aren’t based on real people, and I work to ensure the specifics of incidents in my books aren’t connected to anything in real life. With Innocence, the closest connections to reality were the elements of investigation and evidence gathering I’ve learned about.

Q: Your next book deals with one of Boston’s most famous unsolved crimes, correct?
Yes, I’m writing a book about the (1990) art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—more about the search for the paintings, actually, than the theft itself.