The Jake Lassiter series was one I really enjoyed. State vs Lassiter is one of the later ones, released in May 2017 by Brilliance Audio and performed by Luke Daniels.
Life is good for Jake Lassiter, ex Miami Dolphins linebacker turned lawyer…..until he wakes up on the beach with the hangover from hell and no memory of how he got there. He and his lover, Pamela Baylins were spending a romantic weekend at the Fontainebleau Hotel, courtesy of a grateful client.
A call from Jake’s accountant, Barry Samchick, the previous evening regarding discrepancies in the client trust accounts, with large amounts of money being transferred to various places, had caused a heated argument between Jake and Pamela, witnessed by a number of people. Pamela was Jake’s banker and the only other person who could have accessed the accounts. After an exchange of accusations, and threats from Pamela, Jake left the hotel to get some air and clear his head, the next thing he knows he’s being woken by the Beach Patrol.
I woke up spitting sand. Someone was kicking me in the ribs.
“You alive, pal?”
I lifted my head and shielded my eyes against the molten fireball rising from the ocean. Squinting into the sun, I saw a tanned young guy standing over me. Khaki shorts, white shirt with epaulets and a badge. His utility belt held a crackling radio. Beach Patrol. Glorified lifeguards with Tasers.
The guy dug a sneaker into my gut. “C’mon, get up.”
“Knock it off or I’ll break your leg.” I licked my parched lips and tasted blood.
What the hell happened last night?
I’d been with Pamela. My lover and, conveniently enough, my banker at Great Southern. It should have been a night of drinks, dinner, and sex. We’d done the drinking, but then came the accusations and denials. A shadowy memory crept up, like fog over the shoreline.
Jake, used to being the defense lawyer, finds himself on the flip side, at the mercy of the judicial system accused of first degree murder. He had defended enough murder trials in his career to understand how this would play out. Having Emilia Vazquez, an old girlfriend, prosecuting the case wasn’t going to help. She seemed determined to take on the role of a woman scorned. And Jake, despite the counsel he gives to his clients, makes the very mistakes he warns others against.
Jake fills in the gaps, following leads, and the unfolding courtroom drama is compelling and believable. The author’s knowledge of the legal system, laced with a liberal dose of cynicism, and the fact he was a trial lawyer adds authenticity.
A tightly plotted and well written narrative with all the old favourites; no nonsense Granny Lassiter, Jake’s good friend and mentor, Doc Charlie Riggs and Kip, Jake’s nephew. Jake Lassiter is a likeable, realistic protagonist, with an engaging and witty personality, sense of decency and a moral compass.
A quick, enjoyable listen at four and a half hours. Luke Daniels performance is, as always, faultless. I love his characterisations.
About the Book
Is this the end of Jake Lassiter?
It’s supposed to be a romantic weekend at the Fontainebleau for Jake Lassiter and Pamela Baylins. Then they quarrel, and Pamela – who’s Jake’s banker as well as lover – accuses him of stealing from clients. Hours later, she’s found strangled. With all the evidence pointing to Jake, it will take an explosive murder trial to reveal the truth.