Thursday, March 26, 2009

Paul Levine's Illegal

James O. Born
I read a lot. Books, magazines, short stories, you name it, I read it. A lot of the novels I start disappoint me for one reason or another. Its not about details or realism, I mean I’ve recently become interested in fantasy. But for the most part, I’m a character guy. I love off center, flawed characters. I found a character I really enjoyed reading. Jimmy “Royal” Payne. A lawyer who’s not particularly likable but you come to love the guy. And the best part of the whole experience is that Jimmy “Royal” Payne was created by another lawyer people don’t find particularly likable, but then love him anyway: Our own Paul Levine.

Don’t believe me, listen to what Booklist had to say:

“ILLEGAL is a riveting read, filled with action, pathos, and even humor. The portrait of the dangers and predations that Latinos face crossing the border is chilling and rings with authenticity. But the book’s best quality is the way Levine invests his characters with believable humanity. A compulsively readable yet character-driven thriller.”

Holy crap! I doubt that reviewer is even related to Paul.

Seriously, I thought it was a great book.

Wanted by the cops, L.A. lawyer Jimmy "Royal" Payne plans to skip town. That's when he crosses paths with gutsy twelve-year-old Tino Perez, newly arrived from Mexico with no money, no papers, and no qualms about robbing Payne—then pleading for his help. Tino's mother, Marisol, has disappeared after crossing the border with a vicious coyote. Soon, the cynical lawyer and the savvy kid are on her trail, battling predators on both sides of the border.
The pair track Marisol from migrant stash houses to the lush fields of central California. It’s there they encounter Simeon Rutledge, a mega-grower whose family has employed – and abused – migrants for three generations. Rutledge won’t reveal what he knows, but one thing is clear: Marisol’s fate is in his hands.

I don’t want to give away too much. I recommend the book highly.

I have a montage of Paul photos to show his development as a person as well as some of his covers.

Paul has a couple of Southern California stops this weekend.

Mystery Bookstore in Westwood Saturday at 4 pm
Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego Sunday at 2 p.m.

Drop and show him how much you love him.

Let's hear some comments about Paul.
I'll start.
I may be the butt of many of his jokes and dish it out on occasion, but I will say categorically that he's my main source of advice on publishing. He has shown interest and insight without regard for anything but my well being. In police work he'd be the perfect partner. Same goes for his role in the writing game.


  1. I envy his talent. And his hair.

  2. Paulie came to my very first book signing for False Profits at The Mystery Bookstore. He didn't know me from Adam. It was a combined holiday party/booking signing and I assumed he was just there for the free carrot sticks. I was impressed that he was so kind to me and supportive when he didn't have to be, and then...HE BOUGHT MY BOOK. He's been my BFF ever since.

  3. He does hav good hair and arms.


  4. Dear Mr. James O. Born a/k/a James O'Neal.

    Please be advised that the undersigned represents Paul Levine in his suit against you for invasion of privacy, identity theft, and advising him to buy Lehman Brothers stock.

    You have misappropriated his image, trespassed upon his virtual property and purloined his many pictures.

    We intend to sue you for damages. How much? A lot. A lot of moohlah Mr. Born a/k/a O'Neal.

    In addition we will find various embarrassing photos of your own sorry self, perhaps inebriated at a Florida State frat party. Or perhaps at a police academy hazing. Tell us, were you the teabagger, or the teabaggee.

    In other words, Mr. Born a/k/a O'Neal, you are -- as we say in the law -- in deep doo-doo.

    Chauncey Q. Pilkington, Attorney at Law