Monday, June 01, 2015

Bum Rap -- Paul Levine

First, a little personal story.  When Judy and I went to the Edgar Awards back in 2007 (I was nominated for Best Short Story; I didn't win), we went to the pre-banquet cocktail party.  It wasn't easy to get a seat in the big room where we were.  There were only a few tables, small ones, scattered around, and there were only two chairs at each table.  Judy and I had gotten there early, so we had a table.  I saw Paul Levine standing across the room.  I'm not sure how I knew it was him, but I'd read one of his books, Solomon and Lord, on the plane, and I wanted to tell him how much I'd enjoyed it.  So I got up and went over and told him.  I'm sure he doesn't remember it, but I was happy to do it.  I like telling someone I've enjoyed a book he's written, especially if I'm just read it happened to see him by coincidence.  Then I went back to my table, only to find that Judy had company.  Someone was sitting in my chair.  It was Stephen King, and he and Judy were carrying on a conversation.  I felt like a fifth wheel.  Later I asked her why she hadn't saved my seat.  She said, "Because that was Stephen King."  

Now that we have that out of the way, I should mention that after reading Solomon and Lord, I bought several more books by Levine, including others in that series and a couple in another series, this one about Jake Lassiter.  Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord are partners in a law firm in Miami, an odd couple who make a great team, and they're also lovers.  Jake Lassiter is a lawyer in Miami, too, and a former NFL linebacker, who, like Solomon and Lord, is a dedicated defense attorney.   In Bum Rap, Levine brings the three of them together.

Steve Solomon is in jail for having killed a Russian strip-club owner, a crime that Steve swears to Victoria that he's not guilty of.  Victoria hires a burned-out Jake Lassiter to defend Steve, who once again tells the story of his innocence.  [WARNING, WILL ROBINSON: SPOILER ALERT.  He's lying. END OF SPOILER ALERT.]  Complications ensue.  The include a beautiful Russian B-Girl who was in the room with Steve when the strip-club owner was shot, the FBI, diamond smuggling, the fact that Lassiter finds himself falling for Victoria, and lots of legal maneuvering, some of which is even on the up-and-up.  

It's a nice package of fast-moving legal-thriller entertainment, and I'm looking forward to the next book in the Solomon and Lord and Lassiter series.

And if you have Amazon Prime, you can get this one for free this month.  I certainly would recommend that you do.


Librarian D.O.A. said...

I love the story! I would have let Stephen King have the chair too :)

Jeff Meyerson said...

Can't believe I never heard that Stephen King story.

As I remember it, we met you and Judy at your hotel on 42 Street and walked down to the World Trade Center site, stopping for lunch and at St. Martin's Press in the Flatiron Building to see Ruth Cavin.

And we checked out (without going inside) the Museum of Sex on Fifth Avenue.


Unknown said...

A great day. Remember it well.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I forgot to mention that when we went to Dave Barry's book signing/talk in Florida in March, Levine was the MC who introduced Dave and did a bit of a standup routine.