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.
Jake Lassiter is a hard-hitting kind of a guy, both in his former life in the NFL and now in the courts in Miami. He's taken a lot of hits, and given as good as he got. I like a man that's been knocked around by life a bit and is still standing.
I like that Jake recognizes his physical attraction to Victoria, but has scruples about acting upon that urge. These days, most people would say forget the client, he's going down for murder, (and without finding the 'bar girl' *ahem* witness, that is exactly what is going to happen), hop into bed with the hot lady lawyer and go for it. Maybe it's part of his malaise with the so-called justice system in general (he's considering going up north to coach at a private school, I think).
Does it reveal my own prejudices to say that I am surprised and pleased to read a book written by a man where people can feel sexual attraction and not let it go to their heads (so to speak). Just because you can do something doesn't always mean you should.
I find it telling that the boss of the bar girl (you remember the witness who can clear Jake's client) wants to hire Jake to find her. Jake hesitates on that one...the boss has ties to the Russian mob, after all.
Bum Rap, to me has a modernized Perry Mason feel to it, although I'd cast Jake as Paul Drake, who was actually a PI. It's noir, but not as heavy. Does that make it 'gris' (French for gray)?
I enjoyed Bum Rap, for my first experience with this author, and would like to read some of his other work. If you like the thriller/suspense genre, I believe you will like this edgy addition to the Lassiter line.
PAUL LEVINE worked as a newspaper reporter, a law professor and a trial lawyer before becoming a full-time novelist. His books have been translated into 23 languages; 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.
Disclosure: I received a print copy of this book from the author and publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.