By Paul Levine
Bantam, Hardcover, 9780553806748, 304pp.
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
Eighteen years ago, Jake Lassiter crossed paths with a teenage runaway who disappeared into South Florida’s sex trade. Now he retraces her steps and runs head-on into a conspiracy of Miami’s rich and powerful who would do anything to keep the past as dark as night and silent as the grave. In this tale of redemption and revenge, Edgar-nominated author Paul Levine delivers his most powerful thriller yet.
Jake Lassiter, second-string linebacker turned low-rent lawyer, is cynical about the law, but if you hire him, he’ll take a punch for you . . . and maybe a swing at the prosecutor, too.
Amy Larkin—beautiful, angry, and mysterious—accuses Lassiter of involvement in the disappearance of her sister eighteen years earlier. What does Lassiter know about Krista Larkin, the runaway teen turned porn actress? More than he’s saying.
Seeking to atone for his own past, Lassiter follows the cold trail of the missing Krista and butts head with the powerful men who also knew her: a former porn king turned philanthropist, a slick Cuban-born prosecutor who’d love to be governor, and an aging mobster who once worked for the infamous Meyer Lansky.
The evidence leads to a long-ago night of kinky sex, designer drugs—and possible murder. But before Lassiter can nail the truth, a gun goes off, a suspect falls dead, and Amy is charged with murder.
The state has an eyewitness and a slam-dunk case. Lassiter has a client he doesn’t trust and a case he can’t win. Did Amy shoot the man who killed her sister? Or the wrong man? And what really happened to Krista? The answers, buried under years of deceit and corruption, are revealed in an explosive courtroom finale proving that rough justice is better than no justice at all.
Advance praise for Lassiter
“Jake Lassiter, the toughest lawyer in Miami, is back, fighting for justice and his fees, not always in that order. Paul Levine’s Lassiter is the courtroom drama of the year."—Harlan Coben
“Paul Levine is one of South Florida’s great writers, and Lassiter is his greatest creation. It’s funny, smart, and compelling.”—Dave Barry
“Jake Lassiter is the lawyer we all want on our side—and on the page.”—Lee Child
“Paul Levine possesses one of the strongest voices in crime fiction, and his Jake Lassiter is one of my favorite characters of all time. Why? He makes me laugh, even as he fights for justice. Lassiter is a brew-and-burger guy, with the biggest heart in the bar association and a conscience to match. If you haven’t met Jake Lassiter, start right now, with Lassiter.”—Lisa Scottoline
“Paul Levine’s Jake Lassiter is in a class of his own. No crossbred comparisons with other protagonists suffice to describe this larger-than-life character with his raw intelligence, street smarts, and a self-deprecating wit that makes you just love the guy. Lassiter combines edgy storytelling, tight plotting and Levine’s trademark crackling dry humor—I really couldn’t put the book down. It’s a terrific, fast-paced read from beginning to end.”—Jacqueline Winspear
“Jake Lassiter was never really gone—he’s already earned his place alongside Travis McGee in Florida crime fiction—but that won’t stop me from celebrating the fact that Paul Levine has brought him back in big way. Yes, Jake feels like an old friend, but Lassiter is no walk down memory lane. It’s sharp, sexy, and full of surprises—a rare opportunity to enjoy a gifted writer at the top of his game. I dare you to put this one down.”—James Grippando
“Reading Lassiter was like visiting the best friend you haven’t seen in years. It only takes a minute to remember why you were friends, you stay for hours, and you hate to leave.”—Scott Pratt
“Paul Levine’s twisty, wonderful novel combines the legal excellence of a Grisham thriller with the highwire antics of Carl Hiaasen. A cover-to-cover triumph!”—David Morrell
“I regularly visit Miami. I no longer need to; all I have to do is open this book. One sentence and you’re there. Side by side with a renegade lawyer-cum-investigator, your skin crawling, your nerves prickling. The highest praise of all: I’m going to sit down and read it again, just to see how Levine pulls off his magic.”—Ridley Pearson
“If I were in trouble, big trouble, the kind where I might go to jail forever, or get my pretty face permanently rearranged, and I have only one quick phone call to save my skin, I wouldn’t have to think twice, I’d ring Jake Lassiter. Nobody else but Jake. The best lawyer, quipster and tough guy around. If Lassiter can’t fix it, it can’t be fixed.”—James W. Hall