The twelfth novel in Paul Levine's Lassiter mysteries, Bum Deal, hasn't been released yet. I'm reviewing an ARC that I received through the good graces of publicist Wiley Saichek via Net Galley. I'm glad that I read and reviewed Bum Luck beforehand here--not only because it's an excellent book, but because it gave me some background that's important for fully appreciating the events of Bum Deal.
Our hero Jake Lassiter has been through a great deal in his most recent adventure, Bum Luck. He was probably feeling unmoored when State Attorney Raymond Pincher proposed that he prosecute a case. Lassiter has been a defense attorney throughout his legal career, so this is a radical change. Pincher told Lassiter that he and his entire office of prosecutors were recused from the case. "Recused" is a legal term that I and many other Americans learned when the U.S. Attorney General recused himself last year. It means that a lawyer can't be involved in a case because of a conflict.
Bum Deal addresses the ongoing issues of corruption in the justice system and the impact of frequent concussions on the lives of former NFL players like Jake Lassiter. Yet it also deals with the sometimes problematic quandary of drawing the line between consensual sex and abuse, and how do you prosecute someone for murder when there's no body and no evidence? I had to sympathize with Lassiter because it looked like a case that was impossible to win had been dumped into his lap at a very vulnerable time in his life.
If you really like plot twists in the mysteries that you read, there are a great number of them in Bum Deal. I wondered if this case could come to a satisfying resolution given all the obstacles that were thrown at Lassiter. So the biggest surprise for me was that things turned out as well as they did. I felt that justice was served in the end which is what I expect from a mystery.