Search - List of Books by Paul Levine
Paul Levine (born January 9, 1948) is an American author of crime fiction, particularly legal thrillers. His novels have been translated into 21 languages. He has written three series, known generally by the names of the protagonists: "Jake Lassiter," "Solomon and Lord," and “Jimmy Payne.”
Lassiter, a Miami Dolphins linebacker turned hardnosed lawyer, appeared in seven novels. He has been described by Booklist as “one of the most entertaining series characters in contemporary crime fiction” and by The Miami Herald as having “a lot more charisma than Perry Mason ever did.” To Speak for the Dead, the first of the Lassiter series, was honored as one of the ten best mysteries of the year by the Los Angeles Times, which described Lassiter as “Travis McGee with a law degree.” A screen adaptation of the book — re-titled "Jake Lassiter on the Bayou" — became an NBC movie in 1995.
Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord, squabbling Miami lawyers, appeared in four books. The banter between the mismatched law partners has been described as “reminiscent of the very best of David and Maddie in Moonlighting.”
Levine’s novel, “Illegal,” marked the debut of Jimmy (Royal) Payne, a down-on-his-luck Los Angeles lawyer who is caught up in a human trafficking scheme. Calling the book a “riveting read,” Booklist noted the reality-based nature of the fiction: “The portrait of the dangers and predations that Latinos face crossing the border is chilling and rings with authenticity.”
Levine also wrote "9 Scorpions," a thriller set at the U.S. Supreme Court. The novel was the inspiration for the television series First Monday, which Levine co-created with veteran producer Donald P. Bellisario. The short-lived show, starring James Garner, Joe Mantegna, and Charles Durning appeared on CBS in 2002. The series was canceled due to poor ratings in key demographics, Levine protesting that First Monday was “a hit with the crowd between Medicare and the mortuary.”
Levine also wrote 19 teleplays for the CBS military series JAG, which aired from 1995 to 2005. He has been quoted by The Third Degree as saying that his greatest accomplishment on the series was “landing on an aircraft carrier and steering a nuclear submarine, both without endangering national security.”
Levine has written, with a self-deprecating tone, about beginning his Hollywood career at the advanced age of 51. “Before I traveled west, I thought Hollywood writers rolled into work around 11 a.m., scribbled for a couple hours, drank their lunch at Musso and Frank's, then cracked wise with starlets the rest of the day. Like Rick, who came to Casablanca for the waters, I was misinformed.”
Solomon vs. Lord series: Levine’s novels often have a sly, sardonic tone. Publishers Weekly wrote that Solomon vs. Lord had “genuine laugh-out-loud moments. Fans of Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry will enjoy this humorous Florida crime romp.” Though novels of crime fiction, they often revolve around the conflict between Victoria Lord, a by-the-book lawyer and her ethically challenged partner, Steve Solomon, who lives by “Solomon’s Laws:”
“When the law doesn’t work, work the law.”
“Lie to your priest, your spouse, and the IRS, but always tell your lawyer the truth.”
“I will never break the law, breach legal ethics, or risk jail time...unless it’s for someone I love.”
Jake Lassiter series: The St. Petersburg Times compared the hero of Levine’s first series with the protagonists of John D. MacDonald and Robert Parker: “For those of us who can’t get enough Spenser and miss Travis McGee terribly, there is Jake Lassiter.”
Jimmy (Royal) Payne series: Levine’s 2009 novel, Illegal, is more hard boiled than the earlier series. Set in motion when a mother and son are wrenched apart on a midnight border crossing, the book introduces Jimmy (Royal) Payne, a lawyer who uncharacteristically tries to do the right thing and is swept up in the world of human trafficking and sexual slavery.
Total Books: 107