Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer


It’s been years since I’ve read a Lassiter mystery novel by Paul Levine. I didn’t know how much I’d missed them till I picked up his new novella, “Last Chance Lassiter.” Thankfully, the books are all back in ebook editions, so rounding them up for another read is no problem. Finding time, however, remains dicey.

This new novella really grounds the character and shows how – and why – Lassiter stepped away from the big corporate law office where he was working. All the important relationships Lassiter has in the later books are established here as well: CeCe and Doc Riggs, and a couple of others. We also get to see the formation of Lassiter’s code of conduct for himself, the one that allows him to champion his clients and that plunges him into hot water time and time again.

Levine’s trademark humor, both dead-on and over-the-top are on stage, and I found myself laughing out loud at some of his prospective clients and their basis for a lawsuit. I came to the original series as a much younger, very naïve reader, and didn’t know that such people and their ideologies existed.

The pacing in this novella is rapidfire. When you sit down with this one, you might as well make the time to read it all in one sitting, because Levine never lets up. He throws Lassiter into the fire, into the lion’s den, and into certain death. Well, the author stops short of certain death in a physical sense, but not in a job sense. Lassiter’s right to practice law hangs in the balance with every move he makes.

There are some over-the-top moments, as when M. C. Silky runs around without an entourage or bodyguards. Rap stars back in those days (and in these days) are never without someone around them, so maybe that stretches credulity a little, but it makes for an action-packed scene that allows Lassiter to stretch his legs. So to speak.

This little dip into Lassiter’s past has drummed up an appetite for more Lassiter legal action, or maybe a dip into the Solomon and Lord series. I didn’t make it through the whole series before, but I’m going to now.

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