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Bum Luck


Bum Luck

BUM LUCK has something for everyone. Comedy? There are several laugh-out-loud moments. Romance? Indeed, and it’s not even improbable. Thriller? You bet. Paul Levine’s latest nudges into the crime genre as well as into legal thriller territory (more on that in a moment). Levine additionally injects a legitimate mystery (make that two mysteries, or maybe even three) into the proceedings. The result is a one-sit, must-read novel full of memorable characters and unforgettable vignettes, well worth your time and retainer.

Levine is one of those rare veteran authors who, well into his third decade of writing, continues to exceed his self-imposed standards. BUM LUCK once again unites Jake Lassiter, a somewhat unorthodox trial attorney, with the partnership (both on and off the bench) of Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord. Although Solomon and Lord are engaged, Lassiter is deeply attracted to Lord. This makes for a somewhat prickly relationship between Lassiter and Solomon, complicated by the fact that their personalities and legal practice styles are so much alike.

"BUM LUCK makes for fascinating reading from beginning to end, particularly for defense attorneys who will see many elements of Lassiter’s personality in themselves as well as their colleagues."

However, BUM LUCK begins with Lassiter on his own, just after a trial in which he successfully represented his client, a football star of great renown who had been charged with murdering his wife. Lassiter isn’t proud of his actions; in fact, he has to restrain himself, more than once, from killing his client. Impulse control and anger management are the least of his problems, though. He barely has time to bask in the blush of victory, pale as it may be, when he learns that the District Attorney’s office has convened a grand jury in an attempt to have him charged with jury tampering.

Making matters worse is that Lassiter, who is of counsel to a large legal firm in Miami, is tasked with defending an insurance company against a large policy claim. None other than the team of Solomon and Lord is representing the deceased policyholder’s beneficiary. Lassiter is well aware that his client is in the wrong, yet under the canon of ethics is required to represent him zealously.

This all would be more than enough for someone to reasonably deal with, but Lassiter has noticed that he is having some physical difficulties as well, which may be related to his prior football career. That career has served him well both in the past and now --- no one is better than Lassiter at broken field running in the courtroom --- but it is possible that he has run out of yardage this time. It will take all of his wit and skills --- and that of Solomon, Lord and a newly introduced character to the series --- to get him out of all of these situations. If they can.

BUM LUCK makes for fascinating reading from beginning to end, particularly for defense attorneys who will see many elements of Lassiter’s personality in themselves as well as their colleagues. Lay readers will find much to love as well, including the confirmation that everything they have heard about attorneys is true, to an extent. Everyone, though, will enjoy Levine’s style here. His pacing is perfect as always, and the pages just fly by, even as he juggles multiple plots --- including Lassiter’s personal life --- with his own unique aplomb. Put BUM LUCK at the top of your spring reading list.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on March 31, 2017

Bum Luck
by Paul Levine

  • Publication Date: March 28, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
  • ISBN-10: 1477823107
  • ISBN-13: 9781477823101