PAUL LEVINE – Lassiter. No publisher stated [CreateSpace], trade paperback, 2012. (Copyright 2011.)

   Even though this book is titled simply Lassiter, it is, in published order, the eighth book in Paul Levine’s “Jake Lassiter” series. Levine is also the author of the “Solomon vs. Lord” series, of which there are five,with a sixth, Bum Rap, a crossover between Lassiter and (Victoria) Lord, to be published in July.

   I read and reviewed Solomon vs. Lord, the first in the other series, back in December, but this is the first time around with Lassiter for me. Since it was my first, though, I don’t know, but at times I wondered if might also be the first in the series, according to Lassiter’s own timeline.

   An idle thought, no more. It stands by itself either way, no references to earlier cases, for example, but there is no reason why there couldn’t have been. Lassiter is a Miami-based lawyer, and a former Miami Dolphins football player, but pretty much a second- or third-stringer in either profession. The kind of kind of attorney, though, who defends his clients with plenty of vigor, whether or not the facts are on his side, bneding the rules when he can, and stretching them as as far as they’ll go when he can’t.

   His client in this one is a woman who’s come to Miami from Ohio, looking for her sister who from all appearances got caught up in the local pornography business when she hit the city eighteen years earlier. The sister thinks Jake may have been the last person to see her alive.

   The story that follows is a complicated one, and sorting it all out takes quite a while,with at least one big name in town connected to what happened way back then. Levine has a nice humorous way of looking at the world, but when it comes down to it, a guy like Lassiter is the one you want on your side, both as a bare-knuckles investigator as well as a tough-as-they-come litigator.

   As a result, the book is a very pleasant way to spend a few hours. I do wish, though, that the author didn’t seem to be so obsessed with the pornography industry. Plenty of adult-styled paraphernalia and inside-the-business jargon here, more than I was interested in. Otherwise more than OK, with a more than usual amount of rough justice having been done by the book’s end.