Book Title: Bum Luck
Author: Paul Levine
Reviewed By: Chelsea
Series: Jake Lassiter #11
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Sports Fiction, Legal Thriller
Date Read: 03/23/17
Pub Date: 03/28/17
“Thirty seconds after the jury announced its verdict, I decided to kill my client.”
Second-string linebacker turned trial lawyer Jake Lassiter squares off against his toughest, most unpredictable adversary yet: himself.
The downward spiral begins when Jake’s client, Miami Dolphins’ running back Thunder Thurston, is cleared of murdering his wife. Jake didn’t expect to win, didn’t want to win, since he is sure his client is guilty. When Thurston walks free, Lassiter vows to seek his own kind of justice. Street justice. Vigilante justice.
Law partners Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord can’t believe their friend has become so deeply, inexplicably obsessed with killing Thurston. Convinced Jake’s unhinged behavior is due to concussive brain injuries suffered during his pro football career, they beg him to seek treatment. But as Lassiter’s raging fixation on vengeance grows, Solomon and Lord wonder if they’re too late to help. Is it game over for Jake’s career…and his life?
Well. It’s not every day you read a story about a criminal defense lawyer who wants to kill his client right after getting him off murder charges for killing said client’s wife. That tiny sliver of plot is what initially made me want to pick this up, but I surprisingly enjoyed the continuous plot pieces even though I was jumping right in the middle of a series. Speaking of, there’s a reason this series has been running since 1990; for those of you who care to know that’s the year I was born and THIS SERIES IS AS OLD AS A CHELSEA. So that reason is, it’s darn good! I was filled with all kinds of excitement as it was reminiscent of Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar books, which is one of my all time favorite series to date. The humor and banter, the little quick, witty sayings, these were all reasons why this book was memorable. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to pick up a story that can lighten the heavy, dark atmosphere set by a majority of the novels I review these days. We all need an occasional change of pace, and this was it for me.
I’ll be honest, when Wiley Saichek first pitched this one to me, I was a little hesitant as I’m a Nervous Nancy when it comes to starting a series out of order; however, I was clearly not going to fit 10 books in before March 28 and therefore took a leap of faith. What a leap it was! This was such an exciting book. I really don’t want to go into too much detail, but suffice it to say that the characters were full of life and well developed, the humor was more than welcome, and the questions behind whether Jake would get his justice kept me on my toes until the very end. I would highly recommend this to fans of Harlan Coben; I feel like I’m beating a dead horse but it’s been awhile since I’ve found a writer of similar style to match his competence and quality. While I’m sure I missed some of the subtle nuances between character’s backstories, I felt this was easily read like a standalone and can be picked up and enjoyed by anyone. I’ll have to go back and check out the rest of the series now that I’ve been so thoroughly entertained!
*Many thanks to Saichek publicity for providing my copy; it was a delight to return my honest thoughts on the blog.