Linebacker-turned-lawyer Jake Lassiter returns in alumnus’ latest book

March 28, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — When it comes to compelling protagonists, author Paul Levine knows how to craft them, and one of his most popular characters — Penn State linebacker-turned-lawyer Jake Lassiter — returns in Levine’s latest legal thriller.

In “Bum Luck,” Lassiter has just won a big case — albeit for a client he believes is guilty, which prompts a moral dilemma. He’s also battling serious physical ailments in the form of crushing headaches, and he has memory problems. His squabbling law partners, Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord, fear the concussions Lassiter sustained while playing football have caused the irreparable brain damage known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

With all that as a backdrop as Lassiter considers vigilante justice against his client, and as a female doctor attempts to cure him, or at least halt his decline, “Bum Luck” offers a strong vehicle for the award-winning Levine to showcase his storytelling skills.

Levine, a Penn State alumnus who has authored 22 novels, first introduced readers to Lassiter, a Penn State linebacker who enjoyed a career in professional football before becoming a lawyer, nearly 25 years ago in “To Speak for the Dead.” Lassiter has served as the lead character in 12 books by Levine.

Levine’s work has won the John D. MacDonald fiction award and he has been nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, International Thriller and James Thurber prizes. He is also the author of the “Solomon vs. Lord” series. His novels have been translated into 23 languages. 

A former trial lawyer, Levine also wrote more than 20 episodes for the CBS military drama “JAG” and co-created the Supreme Court drama “First Monday,” starring James Garner and Joe Mantegna. Levine earned his degree in journalism from Penn State in 1969 and later graduated from the University of Miami Law School. He lives in Santa Barbara, California. 

“Bum Luck” (Thomas & Mercer) is available at in paperback, as an e-book, or on audio. 

All of Paul Levine’s legal thrillers are free for Kindle Unlimited members. More information may be found at

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    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated March 28, 2017