In this raunchy, overheated, unsavory take on the nation’s highest court, Levine (late of the Jake Lassiter series: Flesh and Bones, 1997, etc.) introduces Samuel Adams Truitt—hunk, action hero, and newly appointed Supreme Court justice. He’s a good man, Sam is. Sexy to the core, he is nevertheless imbued with a love of the law. And his adulation for the august body he’s just joined knows no bounds. He wants to stay a part of it, be a 30-year man like Marshall, Holmes, and Douglas, and do splendid work. So, to buffer his commitment, he vows to lead —a blameless life.— Enter Lisa Fremont, Esquire: she of the gorgeous face, breathtaking body, super intellect, and sharp ax to grind. Goodbye, blamelessness. Sensing the temptress in her, Sam hires her anyway as one of his three law clerks. Before you can say secret agenda, she has him in her bed and then, immediately afterward, entangled in an appallingly inappropriate way in a case that she’s got a vested interest in. Principle having yielded to lust, Justice Sam soon finds himself deep in the Florida Everglades, locked in hand-to-hand combat with a murderous ex-cop. Meanwhile, back home, his struggle is being waged with an even more reprehensible villain, a fellow justice whose nefarious conduct threatens to rock the Court to its foundations. —Nine scorpions in a bottle— is the phrase Oliver Wendell Homes once used to describe the contentious nature of the men he served with—hence the book’s title. But Levine’s Court is different: His is composed of a crook, a hunk, and seven stick figures. Moves fast, but speed alone can—t hide an essential tastelessness.