Early Grave

Herald Square. (Jake Lassiter, Bk. 15). Jan. 2023. 363p. ISBN 9781734505696. pap. $16.95. THRILLER
In the final Jake Lassiter adventure (a follow-up to Cheater’s Game), Levine leads his beat-up ex–Miami Dolphin–turned–lawyer protagonist through the world of competitive football. Wallowing in the backwaters of Miami Beach, Lassiter’s physical, personal, and professional history is catching up to him as he plods through his job investigating minor malfeasance for the Florida State Bar. Either out of guilt or because of a newfound moral compass, he springs to action when his godson Rodrigo (the son of his ex-teammate Tank) is injured in his first high-school football game. Lassiter decides to confront the football world by filing a daring lawsuit about the dangers of high-school football. Soon the powers that be are unloading on him—testing his physical limits, his relationships, and everything he thought was right. Daunting at first with a dizzying array of memes, pop-culture references, and rapid-fire first-person dialogue, the story soon develops a narrative flow and rhythm.
VERDICT With its singular characters, clever plotting, and focused storytelling, Levine’s punchy, well-written contemporary legal thriller will please John Grisham fans. The short chapters and first-person POV make it a good choice for reading on a tablet or phone.
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