Flesh and Bones: A Jake Lassiter Novel

Paul Levine, Author William Morrow & Company $23 (336p) ISBN 978-0-688-14305-3
A wry line of patter, the obligatory Floridian environmental concerns and a drop-dead gorgeous blonde in a short black dress, high heels and lots of trouble add up to another winner in the refreshingly unpretentious Jake Lassiter series (Fool Me Twice, etc.). Just after shooting her wealthy father, fashion model Chrissy Bernhardt falls into Jake's armsDliterally (she faints) and figuratively (she hires the linebacker-turned-lawyer to represent her). She shot her dad, she says, because he raped her as a child, a fact of which she has only recently become aware thanks to the painstaking work of Dr. Lawrence Schein, a psychiatrist who was once in love with her mother. Chrissy's half brother, Guy, a rich agribusinessman, seems awfully quick to forgive her for shooting their dad. And GuyDwho's channeling fresh water that neighboring farmers would like to buy from him into Biscayne BayDalso seems to have a strangely close relationship with Dr. Schein. While trying to figure all this out, Jake spends a lot of time drinking Dutch beer and lamenting the brevity of his pro football career. He also finds himself horizontal with Chrissy, which of course leads to all sorts of conflict-of-interest issues. Among the Florida mystery writers, Levine is not as environmentally aware as Randy W. White, as drop-dead funny as Carl Hiaasen or as topical as Edna Buchanan, but he's a wily and spirited practitioner of ripe plotting and big-time narrative excess. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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