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Bum Deal by Paul Levine

Thanks to publicist Wiley Saichek, I got to read a galley of Paul Levine's final Jake Lassiter novel, on sale June 12 from Thomas and Mercer.

Following last year's Bum Luck, linebacker-turned-lawyer Jake is still suffering from what may be CTE. Because suspected murder victim Sofia Calvert's father is one of D.A. Ray Pincher's financial backers, Pincher recuses himself and asks Jake to prosecute Sofia's likely killer husband, coolly menacing Dr. Clark Calvert.

Defending Dr. Calvert are Lassiter's friends Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord, Lord one of Clark's former flames, much to Steve's dismay.

The plot is tantalizing, topical, and twisty, as I expect from Levine, with the key players pursuing their own agendas. The main draw once again, though, is Jake, valiantly battling his symptoms along with the others' deceptions.

As much as I regret seeing the series end, I applaud Levine's brave choice to have Jake face CTE in the final two books. Well played.

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