Publication Date: September 16, 2013
In State vs. Lassiter by Paul Levine, ex-NFL player and lawyer Jake Lassiter is enjoying life until he has an argument with his girlfriend about missing money for client accounts. He spends the night on the beach and she winds up dead. His girlfriend was setting him up for something before her death and now that she’s gone can he escape the piling evidence and keep from being jailed for life?
State vs. Lassiter is the tenth book in the Jake Lassiter series.
A representative of the author, Paul Levine, sent me a copy of this novel as an advanced reader’s copy (ARC) in exchange for my review. State vs. Lassiter is the first Jake Lassiter novel that I’ve read.
If as a reader you look for vividly set novels, State vs. Lassiter is a novel that you will love. Lassiter operates out of Miami and I have a feeling if readers were so inclined to trace his path, the task would be easily accomplished and look exactly as described. Levine is clearly an author that gives love and care to the setting in his story.
Paul Levine is quite a popular author and this book is rated very highly in reviews on the book-selling sites. People clearly like the characters and story. Jake is a former pro-baller and presented as something of a romantic and a good guy. He’s raising a teen nephew after the death of the child’s parents. He’s a smart ass with the cops from the moment they step into the scene despite grieving for his dead girlfriend lying on the floor. He’s able to compartmentalize in a way that doesn’t sound contrived but does come off as quite stupid for such a smart guy. Jake is quite well drawn while everyone else is one-dimensional. Women who have slept with Jake are breasts and bad attitudes. The women who haven’t slept with Jake … well, there’s his grandmother. Seriously, while he’s not that bad, there does seem to be a heavy overtone of the woman scorned that is more 1980s television career woman stereotype (hot babe in a short skirt fighting against the odds in a man’s world) than the real feeling.
The frame-up story line is used frequently in fiction and Levine’s is unique. Did Jake embezzle from his clients and if he did does that mean he killed Pam? Levine’s character has a very dim view of the justice system. Justice isn’t just blind, she’s stupid. State vs. Lassiter is quite a fast-paced read. Jake does over-think things but once the story starts rolling, we keep going. Levine clearly keeps in mind that readers could come in at any point in a series because in this tenth outing with Jake Lassiter we get a Readers Digest version of what has come before. State vs. Lassiter easily works as a stand-alone.
If you like mystery check out the Lassiter series by Paul Levine. While I only gave this novel a three-star rating, many people clearly admire the series and enjoy Levine’s style of writing. While I didn’t love this novel, I also didn’t hate it. If you’ve read State vs. Lassiter, be sure to let me know what you thought.
Paul Levine is a Florida writer and the second recipient of the John D. McDonald Award for Excellence in Florida Fiction. He is a former lawyer and journalist turned full-time writer. Levine also worked as a writer on the television series, JAG. Levine has written 18 novels. Along with the Lassiter series, he is also the author of the Solomon vs. Lord series.
If this sounds like a novel for you, read on excerpt and buy State vs. Lassiter by Paul Levine on