TAMPA – Since 1985, Michael Shahnasarian has been in the truth business.
As a forensics expert and witness for both the prosecution and the defense in numerous court cases, he has experienced both sides of the legal world since he started Carrollwood-based Career Consultants of America.
And while he's written countless books on the legalities and limits of forensics, he's veering off into previously uncharted territory with his first work of fiction, the novel “Justice Indicted.”
The book, most of which takes place in the Carrollwood area, is a conglomeration based on his long career in forensics. This time he was able to write about something different, something that free flowed from his mind instead of factual studies.
It's a wonder that he found the time. Shahnasarian is a writer, an expert witness, and as president of Career Consultants of America, he spends time specializing in career guidance, vocational rehabilitation, human resource consulting, and life care planning.
A native of Chicago, he has been in Carrollwood since 1986. With 11 books and 70 articles on forensics, as well as his time on the stand, he's well known in the field. He says that, despite what television shows, forensics isn't all about dead bodies.
“I am used by plaintiffs and defense lawyers on all types of cases,” Shahnasarian said. “I make an assessment of what the situation is and go from there. It isn't what you see on television. I've have done many of them and most of the people in the legal system know who I am.”
The novel came from his urge to be more creative, he said.
“I have benefited from doing so much research,” he said. “It takes a lot of fact checking but it was fun to write a novel and I would like to do another one.”
Writing has always been a hobby for Shahnasarian. He studied at Florida State and got into the forensics field, but he always knew there was a writer inside of him.
So it's a mixed bag for Shahnasarian. He gives more than 50 depositions every year in forensics cases, writes textbooks, and now has taken on another field, novelist.
Justice Indicted is a fictional twist of a real-life case about a war hero who is treated like an enemy when it comes to the legal system.
The protagonist, Dylan Ryder, returns home from the Iraq War to find himself at the center of a battle fought by scheming lawyers and crooked business executives. He has to deal with the death of his wife and a new physical injury all while battling a system that uses every tool at its disposal.
Shahnasarian said writing the book was a labor of love.
“The books are just a supplemental thing, kind of a hobby,” Shahnasarian said. “Writing a novel is all new to me, but I enjoyed doing it.”
Justice Indicted can be found on Amazon.com.