- Author: Paul Levine
- Performed by Luke Daniels
- Released: March 2017 by Brilliance Audio
- Category: Legal Thriller, Crime, Contemporary, Book Review
Second-string linebacker turned trial lawyer Jake Lassiter squares off against his toughest, most unpredictable adversary yet: himself.
Jake Lassiter, criminal defence lawyer and ex linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, feels like killing his client after he won the case. He was not expecting to win as the evidence seemed unquestionable, but Thunder Thurston, high profile football star, has been found not guilty of murdering his wife. Jake is angry at himself, for doing his job too well, and Thunder. He’s certain Thunder is guilty and is completely disillusioned about the justice system, fantasising about taking matters into his own hands. To add to his problems Jake learns the District Attorney is attempting to charge him with jury tampering and bribing a witness.
Running alongside this story line is another case Jake is defending, about a mother of two who commits suicide. His friends, law partners Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord, are prosecuting. The insurance company claims they are not liable but certain facts come to light which cast doubt on their assertions. Those facts could also relate to Jake and the recent health issues which are a concern to his friends and family. This is another case where Jake knows his client is in the wrong but he is duty bound to represent them to the best of his ability, even if it does go against his personal code of justice.
Overhead the gray clouds grew darker and heavier. To the west, over the Everglades, lightning flashed.
“That knife wound,” I said, barely above a whisper.
“What about it?”
I bought a moment of time by exhaling a long breath. “It might have been self-inflicted. After the shooting.”
“What!” Victoria’s eyes went wide. “Thurston admitted that?”
I shook my head. “If he had, I wouldn’t have put him on the stand to say Eva stabbed him. I’ve never knowingly used perjured testimony. But this time I came close.”
They waited for me to tell more, so I did.
I can believe this is basically true to life, in that it emphasises the imperfections of the justice system. Jake Lassiter has re-established his ethical code. It’s not all about winning cases anymore as it is for most lawyers, he wants just and fair treatment meted out. An entertaining, well written and thought provoking legal thriller, with distinctive characters and multiple threads woven together to create a very satisfying conclusion.
The story has a serious theme running through, regarding CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease which affects people who have suffered repeated and/or severe blows to the head.
Jake is a great character, unconventional, eminently likeable and quirky. I enjoyed the story line very much, it’s sharp, fun and witty, and enhanced by Luke Daniels’ performance, which always guarantees a great listen. Although this is part of a series there’s enough back story to make it a stand alone.
About Paul Levine
A former Miami trial lawyer, he also wrote 21 episodes of the CBS military drama “JAG” and co-created the Supreme Court drama “First Monday” starring James Garner and Joe Mantegna.
The critically acclaimed international bestseller TO SPEAK FOR THE DEAD was his first novel. It has sold nearly two million copies and is still going strong both on Kindle and with a new paperback edition in August 2015.
He is also the author of the SOLOMON vs. LORD legal capers.