“Law is a contact sport. Buckle your chinstrap.”

Bum Rap brings together hard-boiled lawyer Jake Lassiter with mismatched law partners Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord. Let the fireworks and shenanigans begin!

 Lassiter, our favorite linebacker-turned-lawyer, has had it with sleazy clients, shifty prosecutors, and a justice system out of whack.  He’s ready to call it quits when he gets a call from Victoria Lord. Her law partner and lover, Steve Solomon, has been charged with murder and needs the hardest-hitting lawyer in Miami to defend him.  Lassiter finds himself teamed up with Victoria – and more dangerously – attracted to her, too.

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“Jake Lassiter.  The Jakester!  The mouthpiece who took the shy out of shyster and put the fog into pettifogger.” –State Attorney Ray Pincher in “Bum Rap”

For the two alpha male lawyers – Lassiter and Solomon – the chemistry is immediate.  They hate each other.  There’s chemistry, too, between Victoria and Lassiter…and their mutual attraction creates an ethical dilemma that could torpedo the defense.

The tale begins on South Beach when Solomon accompanies a new client – a stunning Bar girl named Nadia Delova – to Club Anastasia, where her job is to get men drunk and run up huge charges on their credit cards.  Solomon and Nadia confront club owner Nicolai Gorev, demanding Nadia’s back pay.  They argue; Gorev is shot dead; Nadia disappears; and the murder weapon is in Solomon’s hand.

To win the case, Jake and Victoria must find Nadia, who’s fled town one step ahead of the feds and the Russian mob.  Luckily, Lassiter remembers the advice from his college football coach: “Buckle your chinstrap and hit somebody!”


“The pages fly by and the laughs keep coming in this irresistible South Florida crime romp. A delicious mix of thriller and comic crime novel.” – Booklist (starred review)

“Levine effectively blends a puzzling crime, intelligent sleuthing, adroit courtroom maneuvering, and a surprising attraction between Victoria and Jake in this welcome-addition to both series.” – Publishers Weekly

“Ebulliently seamless melding of Levine’s two legal-eagles series.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A highly entertaining look at the law, South Florida style…exactly what the summer needs. Levine deftly blends the characters from his two series into a seamless plot with plenty of twists. Jake, Steve, and Victoria make a formidable and amusing trio.” – Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“Take some Russian mobsters, a mysterious jeweler, a murder, the disappearance of a bar girl and add a hilarious romp through Miami and this is really one to take to the beach.” – Amazon 5-star review

Bum Rap is one of those rarities: a thriller that is fun but still ever-so-gently makes you care about the characters. Welcome back, Mr. Levine, and thanks for bringing such an excellent book with you.” – Bookreporter.com

Bum Rap is Jake Lassiter’s greatest adventure as the tough-guy lawyer defends a murder trial with a fibbing client, a missing bar-girl and the Russian Mafia, all set in glitzy South Beach.” – Harlan Coben

Read an Excerpt