- Review: Illegal
Norm Goldman, B.A. LL.L, is the
Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures, which he created in 2002.' Practicing law for over 35 years enabled Norm to transfer and apply to
book reviewing his many skills that he had perfected during his career in
the legal profession and as a result he became a prolific free lance
book reviewer & author interviewer. To read more about Norm Follow Here
Author: Paul Levine
Publisher: Bantam Dell
I generally don’t pay too much attention to an author’s
dedication of his or her book, however, after reading Paul Levine’s
most recent work, Illegal, I found his words particularly moving as
they effectively capture the spirit and soul of the book:
“To the woman carrying a rucksack, clutching her child’s hand, and kicking up dust as she scrambled along a desert trail near Calexico, California”
Paul Levine has the gift of being a great storyteller whose
concise and vivid prose hits with great force. In Illegal Levine
narrates with a professional author’s perception and persuasiveness
a story involving a reckless attorney, (J) Jimmy Atticus “Royal”
Payne who has recently lost his young son in a hit-and-run accident
and a Mexican twelve- year old boy, Tino Perez, an illegal immigrant
whose mother, Marisol is missing, after crossing the border with a
cruel and nasty coyote referred to as El Tigre.
The story unfolds with Payne being blackmailed into becoming a snitch and his assignment is to offer a fifty thousand dollar bribe to a corrupt judge. Payne decides to offer the judge only forty-five thousand dollars and he keeps the other five thousand dollars for himself. The judge accepts the bribe, however before standing trial, he commits suicide. The law enforcement officer who set this all up, Detective Eugene Rigney of the Public Integrity Unit is enraged as to what has happened, as he is now not only blamed for a messy entrapment but he is also a suspect pertaining to the missing five thousand dollars. Rigney is now determined to nab Payne, however, as he is about to discover, this will prove to be quite a task for Payne is not only running away from him but he is also searching for Manuel Garcia, the hit-and-run driver who killed his son in order to exact retribution.
Perez crosses paths with Payne when he is told by his mother Marisol that should he manage to land up in Los Angeles alone he is to track down Payne and she gives her son Payne`s calling card.
The unlikely pair find themselves thrown together both in search
of someone important to them, one out of hate the other out of love.
As the story unravels, Payne transforms from a person who does not
give a damn about anything or anyone, least of all himself to someone
who becomes kind-hearted and compassionate, even if it means risking
his own life.
Set in areas of California close to the Mexican border, Illegal
will have you groaning, crying, and laughing as Payne and Perez
tangle their lives in the pursuit of their objectives. Moreover,
Levine`s book could have simply been an ordinary adventure story, but
he has given it greater depth as he brilliantly captures the plight
of illegal immigrants and the sickening conditions that they are
subjected to including slavery, brutal punishments and even murder at
the hands of their master employers who try to pass themselves off as
Paul Levine is a former trial attorney and the award- winning author of legal thrillers. He won the John D. MacDonald award for his critically acclaimed Jake Lassiter series and he also wrote for the CBS military drama JAG. I can hardly wait to read his next Jimmy Payne thriller.CLICK HERE TO READ NORM`S INTERVIEW WITH PAUL LEVINE