CTE: The Deadly Issue Behind “Bum Luck”

Mystery Writer and former skip tracer Terry Ambrose interviewed me about Bum Luck for his blog,, which I’m reprinting here. The subject of former NFL players dying of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has been in the news since publication of the novel in which linebacker-turned-lawyer Jake Lassiter suffers symptoms of brain damage. By Terry Ambrose…

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Are Concussions Killing Jake Lassiter?

Jake Lassiter in his study?

By Paul Levine “For Don Russo (1946-2014) football player, rugby player, trial lawyer, friend.” — Dedication of “Bum Luck” In September 1970, on the first day of my first year of law school, while waiting to have my photo I.D. taken, I struck up a conversation with another student, Don Russo. Both Don and I…

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Why Does Jake Lassiter Want to Kill His Own Client?

Jake Lassiter in his study?

By Paul Levine Jake Lassiter has been in scrapes before. I’ve put the linebacker-turned-lawyer into lots of ethical, moral and physical jams. Lassiter has had an affair with a woman while defending her gangster husband in court in MORTAL SIN. He’s been charged with murder for allegedly killing his banker/girlfriend who was about to report…

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Mystery Writers Lust After Hollywood

mystery writers work alone

I came to Hollywood for the health insurance. That’s right. I lusted after cheap meds, not fame and fortune, when I migrated from Miami to Hollywood 17 years ago. And why not? A doctor’s visit costs ten bucks at the industry-subsidized Bob Hope Health Center. I quickly learned, however, that writers pay their dues in…

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John D. MacDonald…and Me

John D. MacDonald

This is the 100th anniversary year of the birth of John D. MacDonald, Florida’s favorite novelist. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune (JDM’s hometown paper) asked a bunch of writers — Stephen King, Lee Child, Jeff Deaver, Dennis Lehane, Heather Graham, among others — to write short articles describing how MacDonald influenced them. Oh, the paper asked me,…

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