Levine writes two of my favorite series, the Jake Lassiter series and the Solomon & Lord books. With 2016’s Bum Rap, he put his series characters together in one book, and he’s done it again here to great success.
Bum Luck is a terrific legal thriller and humorous crime novel, but more than that Levine tackles a tough subject: CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Lassiter is an ex-Miami Dolphin whose spent his pro career, not to mention high school and college ball, suffering one concussion after another and those headbanging injuries have come home to roost.
Lassiter realizes he has a problem when he gets his client, a famous and hugely popular football star, a not guilty verdict based on Florida’s infamous “stand your ground” law. Convinced his client is really guilty, Lassiter has fantasies of killing him himself – a little vigilante justice. Meanwhile, Solomon & Lord are opposing counsel in an insurance claim case and Lassiter is helping them more than his client, the insurance company.
Lassiter is also suffering from tremendous headaches, dizziness and tinnitus, in addition to his vigilante fantasies, and meets a neurologist that he wants to date, but she’s more interested in his brain issues. Lots of twists and turns keep the pages turning and this was a one nighter for me.
I’m deeply troubled by all the news about CTE and this was the perfect vehicle for a closer look at it. Levine manages to make it all easy reading and never gets preachy, and I am most appreciative that he made that leap in this excellent read.
4/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
BUM LUCK by Paul Levine. Thomas & Mercer (March 28, 2017). ISBN 978-1477823101. 332p.