jake lassiter bum luck

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His client just beat a murder rap. Will Lassiter let him live long enough to enjoy it?

What’s wrong with Jake Lassiter?

He’s just won in court. Will he really turn vigilante in the street?

Lassiter is hip deep in the criminal lawyer’s classic moral dilemma. He believes his client, NFL superstar Thunder Thurston, murdered his wife. But the jury just said “not guilty.” A lawyer is supposed to let it go. Another day, another dollar, another case. Not Jake Lassiter.

Thirty seconds after the jury announced its verdict, I decided to kill my client.

That’s not all. The linebacker-turned-lawyer suffers from crushing headaches and has memory problems. His pals, squabbling law partners Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord, fear that all those concussions playing football have caused the irreparable brain damage known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy? They try to help, but Lassiter resists.

“Thunder killed a woman,” I said. “He deserves to die.”

Victoria’s brow furrowed into little worry lines. “Jake, you’re just speaking theoretically, aren’t you? This isn’t real. You’re simply philosophically inclined toward retribution.”

“I’m philosophically inclined toward a nine-millimeter Beretta.”

  • Can Solomon and Lord stop Lassiter from becoming a murderer?
  • Will Dr. Melissa Gold, a neuropathologist specializing in C.T.E., be able to cure Lassiter, or at least halt his decline?
  • Or…is it game over for Lassiter’s career and life?

Bum Luck and all of Paul Levine’s legal thrillers are FREE for Kindle Unlimited members here!


“Another winner. A taut and dazzling legal thriller and a sly and witty rumination on the meaning of justice.” – Robert Dugoni, #1 Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author

“Paul Levine continues his trademark brisk pacing with timely storytelling and well-placed humor. ‘Bum Luck’ is elevated further by teaming Jake with Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord. The trio make an unstoppable team – concerned about the law, but even more about people.” – South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“A one-sit, must-read novel full of memorable characters and unforgettable vignettes. Levine’s pacing is perfect as always, and the pages just fly by, even as he juggles multiple plots with his own unique aplomb. Put ‘Bum Luck’ at the top of your reading list.” – Bookreporter.com

“Immensely entertaining. Paul Levine is among the best authors of legal thrillers, right up there with Grisham and Turow.” – Lee Goldberg, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“An atmospheric legal novel that’s like crime noir set in sultry south Florida. A delightful, briskly-paced page-turner with a touch of social commentary…a richly satisfying story about a lawyer facing lifelong consequences that are quickly catching up to him.” – The Trial Lawyer

“A gripping and often quite an amusing thriller with a surprising climax, all of which is built around an intriguing cast of characters as it achieves an almost flawless rhythm.” – BookPleasures.com

“Bum Luck is a terrific legal thriller and humorous crime novel, but more than that Levine tackles a tough subject: CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Lots of twists and turns keep the pages turning and this was a one nighter for me.” – Bookbitch.com

“Truly a humorous, smart and enjoyable fast-paced read. – MysterySequels.com

“‘Bum Luck’ begins with one of the great opening hooks. ‘Thirty seconds after the jury announced its verdict, I decided to kill my client.’ Is any crime novelist funnier and more serious and more quotable than Levine?” – Mystery Scene


Dead Lawyer Walking


Thirty seconds after the jury announced its verdict, I decided to kill my client.

Or maybe it was quicker than that. Maybe there was an instantaneous firing of neurons and synapses, or whatever ignites sparks in my bourbon-pickled brain.

Did I mention the pounding headache? The thud of a pile driver ramming caissons into my cranium? I could barely hear the judge over the echoes.

“Has the jury reached a verdict?” “We have, Your Honor.”

“The clerk will publish the verdict.”

“We, the jury, find the defendant, Marcus Thurston, not guilty of murder in the second degree.”

Yeah, him. Marcus “Thunder” Thurston, All-Pro running back for the Miami Dolphins. Charged with pumping five bullets into his wife. Now free to carry a football . . . and a nine-millimeter Glock, if he so desired. Hearing the verdict, and perhaps a chorus of cheerleaders singing, Thurston clopped me on the shoulder. An affectionate but hearty clop you might use for chopping wood. If I didn’t tip the scales at 240 pounds, I might have toppled face-first onto the defense table.

“Way to go, bro!” Thunder smacked me again. “Don’t ‘bro’ me, and don’t touch me.” “Whassup with that, Jake?”

“I don’t mind getting my hands dirty. I just need a minute to get the stains out.”

“Hey, lose the ’tude, dude.”

My headache was approaching the red line. On a scale of one to ten, we’re going to need more digits. The thud-thud-thud of the pile driver subsided just long enough for an ice pick to stab deep into my skull.

“You’re a narcissist, Thunder. With a Hall of Fame ego and a total lack of empathy.”

A storm cloud hooded his eyes, and for the briefest moment, there was the same fearsome look Eva Thurston must have seen in the last seconds of her life. Then Thunder barked out a laugh and grinned. It was the thousand-watt smile he flashed on cue for his Nike commercial. The one where he jitterbugs the length of the football field, dodging mammoth defenders, then sprouts wings and soars skyward.

Like a god.

Or a demon.

I wanted to rip off those wings, watch him fall to earth. Splat.

Bones splintered, organs crushed, arteries spurting.

Killing my client would be an act of justice, I told myself. Justice rooted in truth and fairness. Not justice bought and sold, bartered and compromised. A courtroom should be a holy place, our secular church. A palace of integrity and morality. But the palace has been sacked by the Huns.

Call me Attila.

Already reporters spilled out of the gallery and crowded the bar, firing questions.

“Thunder, will the NFL lift your suspension?”

“If you had it to do over again, would you still shoot your wife?” “Lassiter, did you trick the jury with the Stand Your Ground law?”

I hadn’t expected to win. And now that I had, victory tasted like swill. “Head straight to your limo,” I ordered Thurston. “No talking to the press.”

“Why not, bro? We won. Nothing I say can mess that up.”

My eyes squinted through the pain, interfering with my ability to pack my trial bag, much less plan a murder. I could kill Thurston right now. Grab my fountain pen—a Montblanc Skeleton, a gift from an ex-lover whose name escaped me—and jam it straight through his left eye and into his brain. Sure, I could easily kill him. I just needed to figure out how to get away with it . . . the way Thurston did.

Of course, he had a damn good lawyer.


Jake Lassiter. Defender of the Bill of Rights, or at least a few of them. Purveyor of justice, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. Last bastion between freedom and forty years in a steel cage. In other words, the guy you call when you’re guilty as hell.

I never intended to be a hero . . . and I succeeded. But all the trickery, all the gamesmanship had caught up with me. Thurston was the tipping point. How far had I fallen? Surely not from the mountaintop. More like the curb to the gutter.

Back in night law school, they taught us right from wrong, black from white. But they didn’t teach us shades of gray. For twenty years I’ve made my living in the gray. Now I felt blanketed by a poisonous fog, a shroud that protected the guilty and shielded evil and cruelty from view.

A deep baritone startled me. “Gonna kill you, Thurston! Kill you hard and slow.”

I turned to find Clyde Garner waving a thick index finger under my client’s nose. A ruddy-faced man in his sixties, built like an oil drum, Garner owned a tree farm in Homestead. His daughter, Eva, had been a Junior Orange Bowl Princess, then Citrus Queen, and more recently the wife of Thunder Thurston. A thousand people attended her funeral, but Thunder wasn’t one of them.

“Back off, old man.” Thurston glared at Garner, menace in his eyes. “Only did what I had to do.”

“Feed you to the wood chipper,” Garner said, “one leg at a time.” So now there were at least two of us who wanted Thurston dead.

If I didn’t leave my business card at the murder scene, maybe I could get away with it. Who knows how many folks in Miami—other than Dolphins season-ticket holders—thought Thurston should be chopped into bite-size pieces?

“Mr. Garner,” I said. “Please don’t make things worse.”

He swiveled toward me, his neck overflowing the collar of his white dress shirt. “Worse, shyster? What do you know about worse?”

“When I look at you, Mr. Garner, I see a good man.” “Don’t kiss up to me, sleazebag.”

“Please don’t do anything that will come back to haunt you.” “You have no idea what haunts me, shyster.” His eyes narrowed;

his cheeks flushed. His hatred washed over me, a toxic tide. He leaned closer, gave me a whiff of boozy breath. “Gonna kill you, too. Maybe first, I dunno.”

“The last thing Eva would want would be for you to—” “Don’t you mention her name, bloodsucker!”

His burning anger had shifted to me. “All I’m saying, Mr. Garner—”

“You had your say! You know what you are, Lassiter?”

I didn’t, though the words shyster, sleazebag, and bloodsucker still hung in the air.

“Dead lawyer walking. That’s what you are. You’re a dead lawyer walking.”


Vigilante Justice Is an Oxymoron


My first shot was high and to the left, just above his ear. I adjusted my aim, relaxed my shoulders, tightened my two-hand grip, eased the

barrel of the Beretta a smidgen to the right, and squeezed off another round.

The gunshot plunked just below his collarbone. The third shot caught him squarely between the eyes.

“You nailed him!” Steve Solomon whooped just as the horn beeped. “Die, Thurston, die,” I whispered.

“Cease all fire,” a voice announced over the speakers. “Place your weapons down and move behind the red line.”

We were outdoors at the Glades Trail Range on the edge of the Everglades. It was another day of steam-room, shirt-sticky, withering heat. Summer in Miami. The only relief would be the afternoon thunderstorms that slicked the highways and caused multicar collisions, often with roadside gun battles. Already smoky-gray storm clouds had gathered to the west over the shallow slough. If it rained in hell, the place might be mistaken for Miami.

I was with Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord. Law partners and lovers, they shared a house on Kumquat in Coconut Grove. You could almost toss a mango from their yard and hit my little coral rock house on Poinciana. Solomon and Lord were my pals and competitors for clients, those presumably innocent souls—cue the laughter—who could pay handsome fees.

Solomon and Lord were each in their midthirties. Even though I’m fifteen years older, somehow the three of us became best buds. Every few weeks we take target practice. Handguns at twenty-five yards. Loser buys lunch and accepts all manner of insults.

They were shooting at conventional bull’s-eye targets. Ten points in the middle, declining values toward the outside of the circle. I had a different target. An assistant range master was a former client—he’d been arrested for toting a concealed firearm to church—and let me use police perp targets. You know the ones, silhouettes of bad guys. Anonymous on paper, but Thunder Thurston in my brain.

“Victoria wins,” Solomon said as we took seats on the bench behind the firing line and removed our ear protectors. “I’m second. Jake, you’re last, so you’re buying lunch, and not at a taco stand.”

“Vic always wins,” I complained.

“Women make the best snipers,” Solomon said.

I nodded my agreement. “In my experience, that’s a fact.” “Is that a sexist remark, Jake?” Victoria demanded.

“Only if I were talking about women in general, but I mean the ones in my life,” I said.

Solomon punched me on the shoulder. “Smooth recovery, pal.” “Experts at kill shots,” I continued. “Break a man’s heart at a hun

dred yards.”

“Quit while you’re ahead!” Solomon warned.

Steve Solomon was a wiry, dark-haired guy who had played some baseball at the University of Miami. Lousy hitter, lazy fielder, savvy base stealer. Victoria was tall, slender, blonde. Perfect posture. Poised and proper and Ivy League smart. They squabbled a bit, and at first I thought they made an odd couple. But there’s something about opposites attracting. In court Solomon could be reckless and unprepared, always shooting from the hip. Victoria’s files were cross indexed and color coded, and her research was updated daily. Together they made a formidable team.

And me, Jake Lassiter? Before I started earning my living stomping back and forth in front of the judge’s bench, I was warming the bench for the Miami Dolphins. I played a little linebacker when a starter was hurt, but more often, I only got my uniform dirty on the suicide squads, banging heads and making (or missing) tackles on the kickoff and punt teams.

After a few years, the NFL decided it could sell beer without me. The Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL offered me a contract at essentially minimum wage, but instead I enrolled in law school at the University of Miami, night division, where I proudly graduated, no cum laude, top half of the bottom third of my class.

For the past twenty years, I’ve been stalking the halls of Miami’s comically named Justice Building. It should be called “the Law Factory,” the place we grind the cheap meat, jam it into hog intestines, and sell it to the public as tasty treats. Truth be told, the relationship of “law” to “justice” is roughly that of roadkill possum to filet mignon.

During these two decades, I’ve won some cases, lost a bunch more, occasionally spending a night in jail for arguing too vigorously with judges. My shaggy hair, once the color of Everglades saw grass bleached by the sun, is going gray. Not the distinctive silver-fox gray of those handsome, crinkly-eyed dudes in Viagra commercials. More like cigar-ash gray. My face, now as craggy as Mount Rushmore, had once attracted fishnet-stockinged groupies in low-end cities of the AFC, primarily Cleveland and Buffalo. I’ve never been married, and with slim prospects these days, I sleep alone.

The horn blared over the speakers. The range master announced that shooters could retrieve their targets, and no one was allowed at the shooting stands. We stayed put on the bench. No need for souvenirs.

“This is the worst you’ve ever shot,” Solomon reminded me, in case I’d forgotten.

“I’ve had a headache for a couple days.”

Victoria fixed me with a concerned look. “Are you taking anything for it?”

“The usual. Aspirin and tequila.”

“You were squinting as you shot,” she said. “The target was moving on me a little bit.”

Victoria the Nurturer pursed her lips with even more concern. “Double vision, Jake?”

“It’ll go away.”

“So this has happened before?”

“Jeez, Vic. No more cross-exam. Let’s have lunch. Calle Ocho.

Palomilla and guava shakes.”

She was trying to make eye contact, but I busied myself slipping nine-millimeter shells into a magazine. It requires some dexterity, especially when your hands are the size of catchers’ mitts. I was having trouble, and Victoria noticed.

“Jake, what’s going on?”

I took a second. At the adjacent skeet and trap range, shotgun blasts echoed like distant thunder. “Thunder Thurston was guilty.”

“Aren’t they all?” Solomon asked.

That was quite nearly true. I usually assume my clients are guilty. It saves time. But not a lawyer’s soul. With Thurston, I had violated my own rule. Hoping he was innocent, I’d dropped my skepticism, and, for a while, I believed his story.

“Thurston’s worse than most,” I said. “He’s a cold-blooded, heartless murderer. Probably a sociopath. And he got away with killing his wife, thanks to me.”

Victoria said, “You were just doing your job.”

“Which happens to be trying cases,” Solomon said. “Not seeking justice.”

“I hate that tired old excuse. It makes me want to tear down the pillars of the courthouse.”

“Jake, my friend,” Solomon said. “Your job is to jiggle the pinball machine, hit the flippers, and drop the ball into the hole without lighting up the ‘Tilt’ button.”

I pressed my knuckles into my forehead, trying to knead away the pain. “What the hell’s that mean?”

“It’s all a game.”

“You might have a different point of view if I’d lost your trial.” “What if you had, big guy?” Solomon said, in a mocking tone that

always aggravated me. “Would you have busted me out of jail to do justice?”

“Hell, no. I would have sent you a card every year on your birthday and spent as much time as possible soothing your fiancée’s broken heart.”

Solomon laughed. “Truth! My best man speaks the truth.”

Best man. That would be me.

Technically, Solomon and Lord were engaged, but neither seemed in a hurry to walk down the aisle. There had been a moment in the past when Victoria had taken a fleeting interest in me, but equal quantities of whiskey and angst had been involved.

Victoria clasped one of my hands with both of her own. “Your client’s wife attacked him with a knife.”

“Sliced him open!” Solomon joined in.

“So maybe you shouldn’t second-guess the jury,” Victoria added. “Your client stood his ground under Florida law,” Solomon piled

on after the whistle, just like the Dolphins’ Ndamukong Suh. “Blame the legislature for passing the statute. Or the governor for signing it. But you didn’t do anything wrong.”

Overhead the gray clouds grew darker and heavier. To the west, over the Everglades, lightning flashed.

“That knife wound,” I said, barely above a whisper. “What about it?”

I bought a moment of time by exhaling a long breath. “It might have been self-inflicted. After the shooting.”

“What!” Victoria’s eyes went wide. “Thurston admitted that?”

I shook my head. “If he had, I wouldn’t have put him on the stand to say Eva stabbed him. I’ve never knowingly used perjured testimony. But this time I came close.”

They waited for me to tell more, so I did.

“I asked Doc Riggs to study photos of the wound, the blood splatter, the ER report. He said he couldn’t be certain, but given the size and shape of the blade, the superficial nature of the wound, and its location, it seemed likely that Thurston stabbed himself.”

“Holy . . . ,” Solomon said. “Moley,” Victoria said.

Sometimes the kids are so damn cute.

“I confronted Thurston,” I said. “Told him I wanted to work out a manslaughter plea before the state blew his defense out of the water. He stuck to his story. Eva came at him like a ninja. He feared for his life and shot her in self-defense.”

“Five times,” Victoria said, as if I didn’t know.

“Thurston said I could either quit the case or take it to trial and put him on the stand. The state never questioned the knife wound. The jury bought his story, and here we are.”

They were both silent a moment. Then Solomon said, “That doesn’t change anything. You did nothing wrong.”

“The result was wrong. But I could right it.”

They both waited for me to continue. The storm clouds had turned angry. A jagged lightning bolt creased the sky, and thunder clapped in the distance.

Finally Victoria said, “How could you right it, Jake?” “I could kill the bastard.”

Solomon cackled. “Good marketing plan, Jake. I can picture your TV commercials. ‘If I lose your case, you go to jail. If I win, I kill you.’”

“Rough justice is better than none. So is vigilante justice.” “Vigilante justice is an oxymoron,” Victoria said. “You can’t kill a


“She’s right,” Solomon said. “You gotta hire someone to do it.” “Steve!” Victoria shot her partner a look somewhere between scold

ing and skinning alive.

“I could get away with it,” I said. “Who knows more about evidence and proof than we do?”

Victoria wrinkled her forehead. “We?” “I might need alibi witnesses.”

“That’s not happening,” Victoria shot back.

“I think you played football too long without a helmet,” Solomon added.

“Jake, I’ve never known you to be so consumed with talk of violence.” Victoria again. “Are you feeling okay?”

“Just peachy.”

“How do you go twenty years being a respectable lawyer—” “That’s a stretch,” Solomon chimed in.

“And suddenly become an agent of vengeance?” Victoria continued. “Agent of justice,” I said. “It’s not like this would be my maiden


They both looked at me dubiously. “Before your time,” I said.

“You killed a client?” Solomon asked.

“Nope. If I’d killed him, there wouldn’t have been anyone to file a complaint with the Florida Bar.”

In unison the cute kids said, “What complaint?” So I told them.




Fifteen years earlier . . .

Florida Supreme Court, Tallahassee, Florida


The chief justice stares down at me from the stately mahogany bench. Trim and fit under his black robes, he has a fine head of judicial white hair and

wears rimless bifocals. Over the years I’ve read—okay, skimmed—hundreds of his written opinions, which are generally smart, focused, and fair.

I respect the guy. The feeling is not mutual. “Mr. Lassiter, how did you get here today?”

“American Airlines, Your Honor. Nonstop from Miami.”

He grimaces. “You got here through your own disgraceful misconduct.

You egregiously violated your oath.”

There are three justices to his left and three to his right, perched like ospreys on a wire, studying the field mouse who will shortly become a mid-morning snack.

The justice to the chief ’s right is a woman in her seventies who wears a white silk jabot that peeks daintily out of her robes. She gives me the evil eye, or really two evil eyes that are magnified by her thick glasses.

This full-court press has been convened for a flogging. Or, more precisely, a “public reprimand.” It’s pretty much the most humiliating moment of any lawyer’s life . . . even worse than cutting loose a nuclear fart during closing argument.

In the gallery a dozen lawyers await their own cases. Real cases, civil and criminal, not the staged shaming of one of their brethren. Some of the lawyers squirm in their seats, feeling for me. They could be standing at the podium, sweat trickling down their backs.

“You admit striking your client and breaking his jaw?” the chief justice demands.

“I’d just won a date-rape case by suppressing the only physical evidence, a bottle of roofies. My client laughed when the verdict came in. He asked if he could pay my retainer now for next time, because he figured I was his get-out-of-jail-free card.”

“So, angered by his insouciance, you resorted to violence?” the chief says. “I don’t know what insouciance means. But I wasn’t angry at him, Your Honor. He is who he is. A rich man’s spoiled dipshit son who does what he wants. What I was furious about was me. I’m the latest one to enable him.”

“Did you handle the trial ethically?”

“I did everything by the book. But the result was injustice. That’s what I can’t live with.”

The chief shoots a sideways glance at Justice Evil Eyes, who shrugs and emits a scoffing sound from her throat without moving her lips. The chief turns back to me.

“Perhaps, Mr. Lassiter,” the chief says, “you should consider whether you have chosen the right profession.”



Inhaling the Devil


When I had finished telling my pals about my public censure and court-imposed anger management therapy, Solomon was the

first to speak. “The way I see it, you’ve set a precedent. Go punch out Thunder Thurston.”

“Thunder killed a woman,” I said. “He deserves to die.”

Victoria’s brow furrowed into little worry lines. “Jake, you’re just speaking theoretically, aren’t you? This isn’t real. You’re simply philosophically inclined toward retribution.”

“I’m philosophically inclined toward a nine-millimeter Beretta.” Fat raindrops, surprisingly cold, began pelting us, and a thunderclap rattled the windows on the range master’s shed.

“Not a good career move,” Solomon said. “Thurston’s about to sign a new contract. You’ll make a bundle repping him.”

“I don’t care about the money.”

“Let me amend my earlier statement,” Solomon said. “Did you even wear a helmet playing football?”

“Why can’t you understand what I’m saying?”

Solomon threw up his hands. “Because you’re the guy who used to say, ‘They don’t call us sharks for our ability to swim.’”

“I said and did a lot of stupid things when I was young.”

“The Thurston verdict will bring you business, and your bosses at Harman and Fox will be loving it. You don’t get a murderer off the hook every day.”

“That’s great, Solomon. Maybe that will be in my obit. ‘Miami lawyer Jake Lassiter, who got murderers off the hook, died yesterday of regret.’”

“Jake’s suffering from existential angst,” Victoria diagnosed.

“He’s a shark who’s lost his teeth,” Solomon said. “He’s forgotten we’re just hired guns.”

The horn blared, and the range master announced that all us trigger-happy citizens could once again approach the firing line, if we felt like shooting in the rain. My pals and I stayed put on the bench.

“Be rational, Jake,” Victoria said. “What purpose would killing Thurston serve?”

“He’d never harm a woman again.” “There’s another way to accomplish that.”

“Yeah?” I gave her my big-dumb-guy look. It comes naturally. “Identify Thurston’s weaknesses.”

I thought about it a moment. “Drugs. Prescription and otherwise.” “Such as?”

“OxyContin and Percocet. Gets them from the team doc.” “That won’t help.”

“One time at his condo, he handed me a big-ass syringe and a bottle of Toradol. Asked me to inject him in the butt.”

Victoria wrinkled her nose. “Did you do it?”

“No, but one of his posse did. A lot of players get swag bags of medication from kiss-ass quacks who want signed jerseys to hang in their offices.”

“Anything else?”

“Amphetamines. I’ve seen him snort Adderall. Says it makes him faster.”

“Inhaling the devil,” Solomon said. “That’s what meth is called on the street.”

“How’s he get it?” Victoria asked.

“From one of his posse. Big dude, muscle gone to fat. Goes by Jelly Bean.”

“Jelly Bean is a street name for meth,” Solomon said.

Victoria shot a sideways glance toward her lover and law partner. “What?” he said.

“Inhaling the devil? Jelly Bean?”

“C’mon, Vic. You know I got street cred.”

“Only if the street’s Ocean Drive. You grew up on Miami Beach, for crying out loud.”

“Hey Nick and Nora,” I said. “Let’s get back on track.” “Do you know how to find Jelly Bean?” Victoria asked.

“He hangs out in Thurston’s condo, acts as chauffeur, rounds up his groupies. They’ve been tight since high school in Belle Glade.”

“Dirt-poor town,” Solomon said. “Nothing but sugarcane fields.” “And now Thurston is a multimillionaire about to score a huge

contract,” I said.

“Is it possible Jelly Bean resents his old buddy?” Victoria asked.

I shrugged, and pain flared in my right shoulder. Long-ago rotator cuff surgery left me with a rusty joint. “Where you headed with this?” “I get it,” Solomon said. “When they were kids, they’re swinging machetes in the cane fields every summer instead of going to camp at Weeki Wachee Springs. They’re wearing hand-me-down clothes, hanging on street corners, maybe breaking into parking meters. Flash forward, Thunder is rich and famous, and Jelly Bean is his bitch.” “I was going to say valet,” Victoria said.

It was becoming clear. “So if Jelly Bean gets busted,” I said, “he’s got something to trade.”

“Victoria’s nailed it,” Solomon said. “You shouldn’t kill Thurston.

You should frame him.”


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