Created by Paul Levine
"The past clings to me like mud on rusty cleats"
-- Jake looks back, in Bum Deal, the final book in the series
After graduating from the Penn State University, JAKE LASSITER went on to a short and not exactly stellar pro football career as a second string linebacker for the Miami Dolphins. Encouraged by a cheerleader (and future mob wife), he attended law school. After squeaking through, he was hired by a Miami firm, mostly because of the novelty of being the best former pro football player practicing law in town.
A hard-core wind surfer and fisherman, Jake has a problem with authority. He frequently squares off in court against a colourful assortment of lawyers from the Dade County 's DA's office. His gram, a moonshine-producing environmental rights activist, raised him. His sidekick is sixty-something retired coroner and practitioner of Latin, Dr. Charlie Rigs. Who may or may not have something going on with Lassiter's grandmother. His Harley-riding, hair colour-changing secretary's one-liners keep his ego in check as does his ability to almost fall in love and get dumped.
Jake's not an ambulance chaser by any stretch, but given the shadiness of his clientele, his liberal code of conduct, and his own often-imaginative interpretation of the law, sainthood is out of the question. And sometimes, well, he just rubs people the wrong way. As he puts it, "I'm a beer and burger guy in a quiche and white wine world."
Maybe, but he's also a guy living in our world; not just some jock fantasy. By the twelfth book in the series, Bum Luck (2017), his football past -- chocked as it was with brutal hits --is catching up with him, as he appears to be experiencing symptoms of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).
The Lassiter series has developed a strong following, and the series has appeared remarkably resilient over the years. There was even a TV pilot made (alas, unsuccessfully), with Gerald McRaney woefully miscast as Jake. Remember now, Jake's a man who supposedly played professional football. As a linebacker, no less. Sure, McRaney was the Simon brother who could fight, but pro football?
I don't think so.
-- Carl Hiaasen
A profile of author Paul Levine, creator of Miami lawyer/PI Jake Lassiter, includes a message from the author, descriptions of his books, and the capability to order his books online.
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