Author: Paul Levine

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

ISBN: 978-1503951716

If you enjoy reading offbeat legal thrillers, Paul Levine's latest tome Bum Deal is likely to be your cup of tea. Once again Levine's principal characters comprise a second-string professional football player, Jake Lassiter who was hit in the head once too often and his two colleagues Steve Solomon and his fiancée,Victoria Lord.

This time around Jake switches sides as he is appointed by the State Attorney for Miami-Dade, Raymond Pincher to become special prosecutor in a case involving a medical doctor, Clark Calvert accused of murdering his wife Sofia. Steve and Victoria have been retained by Calvert as his defense attorneys, and as it turns out, Calvert was an old flame of Victoria.

We discover that Pincher has his eyes on becoming the Governor of the State of Florida and to help him reach his destination he is dependent on the monetary assistance he will be receiving from Sofia's father, Pedro Suarez. Apparently, Pedro never liked his son-in-law and warned his daughter against marrying Calvert, whom he believed was a psychopath.

We learn that Calvert enjoys “kinky” sex and it seems that Sofia likewise relished it wherein they would indulge in consensual sexual asphyxia, which is intentional restriction of oxygen to the brain for the purposes of sexual arousal.

As the story unfolds, the couple are caught up in erotic asphyxiation and we are to believe that perhaps this time Calvert had gone too far. We are not sure if Sophia was strangled to death or is just unconscious. Shortly thereafter Calvert calls the police to report that his wife is missing. Over the next several hours he personally tries to find his wife by checking out many of her past hangouts but with little success.

Lassiter with the help of a detective builds his case around the theory that Calvert strangled his wife and placed her body in the trunk of his Ferrari. He then went to a small airport after spending a short time in a strip club borrowed a friend's small aircraft and dropped his wife in the ocean. The only problem with his presumption is that Sofia's body was never found, there are no witnesses and there was never any sign of a murder having taken place in the Calvert household. By the way, we are in for quite a surprise when Lassiter finally has his day in court.

To juice up the story, Levine throws in the fact that Sophia was no angel and was having an affair with her tennis instructor. As regards Victoria's past relationship with Calvert, well that is another story and you can well imagine how this plays out with Steve.

As for Sofia's father, Pepe, well he is not exactly a pillar of society and will do anything to make sure his son-in-law sits in prison for a long time. Oh yes, did I forget to tell you about the off shore trust fund Pepe had set up in his daughter's name to the tune of millions of dollars he wanted to hide from Uncle Sam. Sound familiar in the light of a few famous trials going on today? How does this all come into play, you will have to read the novel.

Once again Levine throws in quite a few curves and keeps his readers guessing until the very last few pages. Bum Deal is a fun read as Levine fuels his story with large doses of rollicking humor, nutty doings, and playful language as well as an unpredictable ending.