BUM RAP by Paul Levine


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Levine brings ex-Dolphin Jake Lassiter, Esq., (State vs. Lassiter, 2013, etc.) together with his other series regulars Solomon and Lord, of the Florida bar (Habeas Porpoise, 2014, etc.), under the most trying circumstances possible when Lord asks Lassiter to defend Solomon on a murder charge.

The outlook isn’t brilliant for his client. Everyone agrees that Bar girl Nadia Delova waltzed into Steve Solomon’s office and offered him $5,000 to accompany her to the office of Club Anastasia owner Nicolai Gorev, the boss she said was holding her passport and some money he owed her. Gorev, suspecting that one of his callers was wearing a wire, pulled a gun on them and demanded that they strip. While his eye was on Steve, Nadia pulled a gun from her own purse. What happened next is a little unclear, but once the dust settled, Steve was alone in a locked room with Gorev’s corpse waiting for the Miami cops to come and Mirandize him. Nadia, naturally, has vanished, and attempts to find her only provoke more violent death. Victoria Lord, Steve’s partner and girlfriend, may bicker with him nonstop, but she can’t believe he’s a killer, so she reaches out to Jake, who can believe anything. With such a limited range of possibilities, you might think the prospects for surprise are limited, too: either Nadia killed Gorev or Steve did. But Levine focuses instead on the different legal strategies each turn of events offers Jake. Will he put the blame for everything on the absent Nadia? Once she turns up and gets immunity for her testimony against Steve, will he argue that the gun went off accidentally? Will he do his best to impeach the testimony of the one and only witness against his client? Or will he do something else entirely?

The answer, of course, is all of the above in this lightweight but ebulliently seamless melding of Levine’s two legal-eagles series.

Pub Date: July 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4778-7986-3
Page count: 350pp
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2015


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