Authors Showcase: Bum Rap by Paul Levine
July 29, 2015
The Book: Bum Rap
The Author: Paul Levine
The Story: NFL linebacker-turned-lawyer Jake Lassiter has had it with shifty clients, dirty prosecutors, and a legal system out of whack. It’s enough to make a man want to leave Miami and never look back—until he gets a call from Victoria Lord, the better half of hot local legal team Solomon & Lord.
Her partner in life and law has been arrested for murder. What’s worse: the only person who can clear him has fled the city. Now it’s up to Jake and Victoria to track down the witness—a stunning “Bar girl”—before she’s roped in by the feds…or eliminated by the Russian mob.
Jake knows that if he doesn’t get to the witness first, his client’s case is lost. Luckily, he’s got some good advice from his college football coach: “Buckle your chin strap and hit somebody.” And sometimes, the only way to win a tough case is to do just that.
About Paul Levine:
PAUL LEVINE is best known for two series of legal thrillers: “Jake Lassiter” and “Solomon vs. Lord.” His newest novel, the national bestseller “Bum Rap,” brings together the protagonists of both series in an explosive murder case set on glitzy South Beach.
BULLETIN: On June 8, 2015, “Bum Rap” became the Number One bestseller in the Amazon Kindle Store. It was also the Number One bestseller in “legal thrillers” and “mysteries.” On the same day, “To Speak for the Dead” was Number One in “heist thrillers” and “Night Vision” Number One in “international crime thrillers.”
Levine’s first novel, “To Speak for the Dead,” introduced the world to Jake Lassiter, an NFL linebacker turned hard-nosed lawyer. Lassiter has been described by The Miami Herald as “having more charisma than Perry Mason ever did” and by Booklist as “one of the most entertaining series characters in contemporary crime fiction.”
In “Bum Rap,” Lassiter has had it with sleazy clients, shifty prosecutors, and a legal system out of whack. He’s about to hang up his shingle when Victoria Lord calls. Solomon has been arrested for murder. What’s worse: the only person who can clear him has disappeared. Now it’s up to Lassiter and Lord to track down the witness–a stunning Bar girl–before she’s roped in by the feds…or eliminated by the Russian mob.
Levine’s other series features squabbling lawyers – and lovers – Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord, who duel in and out of court. The Chicago Sun-Times praised “Solomon vs. Lord” as: “Remarkably fresh and original with characters you can’t help loving and sparkling dialogue that echoes the Hepburn-Tracy screwball comedies. A hilarious, touching and entertaining twist on the legal thriller.”
Levine has won the John D. MacDonald fiction award and has been nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Macavity, the International Thriller Writers Award, the Shamus Award, and the James Thurber Humor Prize. A graduate of Penn State and the University of Miami School of Law, he was a trial lawyer before becoming a full-time novelist.
Ten of Levine’s novels have hit Number One bestseller status on Amazon in their genres.
Review by Publisher’s Weekly:
Levine successfully combines series heroes Jake Lassiter (State vs. Lassiter) and Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord (Solomon vs. Lord) in a single convoluted case that showcases the three Miami, Fla., attorneys’ very different styles and strengths.
Often a loose cannon in the courtroom, Steve is found alone with the body of bar owner Nicolai Gorev in Gorev’s office at Club Anastasia. Worse, he’s holding the gun used to kill Gorev. The self-described “bar girl” he accompanied there, Nadia Delova, is long gone. Steve thinks Victoria is nuts to hire former NFL linebacker Jake (“a slab of meat”) to defend him, and he and Lassiter are at odds from the start.
But while Steve languishes in jail, Victoria and Jake have competition from assistant U.S. attorney Deborah Scolino and a mysterious character called Benny the Jeweler. Levine effectively blends a puzzling crime, intelligent sleuthing, adroit courtroom maneuvering, and a surprising attraction between Victoria and Jake in this welcome addition to both series.
Starred Review from Booklist:
Levine cleverly brings together all three of the heroes from his two legal-thriller series: Jake Lassiter and Solomon and Lord. Steve Solomon was in the wrong place at the wrong time, trying to help Nadia, a Russian B-girl, get her passport and back wages from gangster Gorev. When Nadia pulls a Glock out of her purse, Gorev ends up dead, Nadia disappears with her passport and a mysterious bag she lifted from Gorev’s safe, and Steve is left literally holding the gun inside a locked room.
His law partner and significant other, Victoria Lord, hires Jake Lassiter to defend her man, and the fun begins. Turns out Gorev was working for Benny the Jeweler, a nice old gent who also happens to be a major diamond smuggler. The Russians and the FBI are after Nadia, who was working for the feds as an informant, but if Lassiter is able to track her down, she could corroborate Steve’s story that she shot Gorev and avoid prosecution herself by using Florida’s infamous stand-your-ground defense.
Solomon’s usual roguish charm is subdued while he sweats it out in jail, Lord is scared but willing to trust Lassiter, and Lassiter is not at all sure he will be able to get his client off. And through it all, the pages fly by, and the laughs keep coming in this irresistible south-Florida romp. A delicious mix of thriller and comic crime novel. —Stacy Alesi