Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jake Lassiter: Back in the Courtroom

From Paul Levine...

I'm exhausted!

Just shipped the new Jake Lassiter manuscript to my editor. First Lassiter novel since "Flesh & Bones" in 1997.

What a pleasure to speak in the voice of the linebacker-turned-lawyer. (Also back to first-person narration). The new book -- working title "Lassiter," how clever is that? -- will be published in 2010, the 20th anniversary of the first one, "To Speak for the Dead." That one was adapted into an NBC movie, which aired as a two-hour pilot in 1995. The series, alas, was not picked up, and that house in Malibu just went down the drain.

It will be the eighth novel featuring the hard-boiled lawyer who readily admits: "They don't call us sharks for our ability to swim."

Okay, here's the opening:

"It was the best of times. On the other hand, it wasn't so hot."

Nah, just joking around.

Here's the first line:


Okay, okay. Here it is for real:

I was cross-examining a cop when the tall, slender woman in a blonde wig and oversize sunglasses slunk into the courtroom and ducked into the back row of the gallery.

According to my computer, there are 9,158 other sentences, and they average 9 words each, though one sentence has 54 words. (I'd like to find that sentence, take it outside, and shoot it).

What's the book about? A missing porn star. A D.A. with a dirty secret. An aging mobster with ties to pre-Castro Cuba. Sex toys. A murder. A trial. Mayhem in Miami. And Jake Lassiter, the bull who crashes the China shop of the legal system.

More later on Lassiter...

I'm off this week to Florida for the Miami Book Fair.
A panel Saturday, a signing Sunday...and stone crabs Friday at Joe's.

Paul Levine


  1. Can't wait to see how Jake has been doing since his last incarnation. Who played him in the movie? I'm sure Miami will give you great stories for us!

  2. You should enjoy hanging with Richard Belzer....he's quite a card.Have fun at the book fair.


  3. FINALLY!!!!! Can't wait.

  4. James O. Born11/10/2009 7:52 AM

    To Speak For the Dead is one of my favorite novels.
    Which Dolphin is Jake based on?


  5. Gerald McRaney played Jake and added his touches to his character, none of which I agreed with. (Chief among them was putting a Confederate flag on his desk).

    Jim, Jake was a free agent who played mostly on special teams and therefore wasn't based on any of the star linebackers. His most notable play was knocking loose a fumble on a punt, getting turned around, running to the wrong end zone and scoring. A safety. For the wrong team. Wrong Way Lassiter.

  6. guess he didn't go to Linebacker U, then huh?

  7. Yea!! More Jake is a very good thing.I will be doing a happy dance when it gets released.

  8. Actually, Jake was a walk-on at Penn State where, due to disciplinary problems, "I was so far down Joe Paterno's bench, my ass was in Altoona."

  9. Paul, that line has me laughing so hard it hurts.
    Yep, the sage doesn't accept ANY disciplinary problem....and I truly admire the man for that.

    But, they don't call JoPa's place Linebacker U for nothing....even a LB so low on the depthchart he's one seat away from "the waterboy" will learn alot [perhaps merely from osmosis].....even a bench warmer LB from PSU has a chance of playing in the NFL [albeit in Jake's case, not an illustrious career].

    On a sidebar...don't you just love that BIG 10 commercial where all the coaches appear and they end with gritty Joe just laying it all out with "Come to Penn State."

  10. I'm also looking forward to hearing how Jake has been doing since his last incarnation. I'll be checking back regularly.