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TO SPEAK FOR THE DEAD (Jake Lassiter Legal Thrillers Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Paul Levine
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $3.99
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Latest in John Lescroart's Dismas Hardy series: A teenager dives to her death. Was it suicide or murder? Dismas' daughter Rebecca investigates. Read the full description

Book Description


A doctor in love with his patient's wife...
A fatal mistake during surgery...
Accident? Malpractice? Or murder?

Defending a surgeon in a malpractice case, Jake Lassiter begins to suspect that his client is innocent of negligence...but guilty of murder. Add a sexy widow, a deadly drug, and a grave robbery to the stew, and you have Miami's trial of the century.

"Move over Scott Turow. 'To Speak for the Dead' is courtroom drama at its very best." - Larry King, USA Today

Books In This Series (10 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews



    "An assured and exciting piece of work.  Jake Lassiter is Travis McGee with a law degree...One of the best mysteries of the year."--Los Angeles Times
    "Jake Lassiter is attractive, funny, savvy, and brave."--Chicago Tribune
    "Genuinely chilling."--Washington Post Book World
    "Cracking good action mystery...funny, sardonic and fast paced."--Detroit Free Press
    "A finely tuned plot from first novelist Levine, who orchestrates his tense courtroom and medical scenes with expert panache, fluid prose, and sly humor."--Library Journal
    "Levine's writing sparkles."--The (London) Times

    "Strongly recommend to all the mystery/legal thriller enthusiasts. Jake Lassiter has an attitude and to match the sophistication of the award-winning series' storylines." -- Amazon 5-star review

    "Levine spins his tale briskly, his use of medical evidence and legal argument heightening the excitement rather than weighing it down." -- Publishers Weekly

    "Paul Levine is guilty of master storytelling in the first degree. 'To Speak for the Dead' is a fast, wry, and thoroughly engrossing thriller."--Carl Hiaasen

    From the Author


    Coming July 1, 2015 in print, e-book and audio editions: Bum Rap. Why would Steve Solomon kill a South Beach club owner? Linebacker-turned-lawyer Jake Lassiter tries to beat the murder rap...and resist his growing feelings for Victoria Lord. (You can pre-order on Amazon).

    Product Details

    • File Size: 2720 KB
    • Print Length: 352 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publisher: Nittany Valley Productions, Inc.; Fourth edition (March 14, 2014)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B003SHDUD6
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,454 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    4.1 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
    By Konrei
    TO SPEAK FOR THE DEAD is the first of Miami lawyer-turned-novelist Paul Levine's Jake Lassiter novels, and it acquits itself well as an initial effort.

    Levine knows his landscape as well as fellow Floridians John D. MacDonald or Carl Hiaasen, and his characters are at least as well developed and colorful. In TO SPEAK FOR THE DEAD we are introduced to former second-string Miami Dolphin-turned-slightly stumbling attorney Jake Lassiter, his irrepressible moonshine sippin' Granny Lassiter, and his best friend, the Latin-spouting retired ME, Dr. Charlie Riggs.

    Very much a working lawyer, the self-deprecating Jake is usually quicker with his wisecracks than with his appellate arguments, but he somehow manages to be smarter than the people around him expect him to be, nonetheless.

    Lassiter's failing is idealism---he firmly believes people to be better than they are---and he struggles to discover what more cynical, jaded human beings might assume from the outset.

    Jake's recent client, Dr. Roger Salisbury has just been cleared of malpractice in the death of multimillionaire Miami developer Philip Corrigan, age sixtyish. No sooner has Salisbury walked out of the civil courtroom than Corrigan's twentysomething widow, Melanie Corrigan (aka ex-exotic dancer Autumn Rain) accuses him of murder.

    As it turns out, Dr. Salisbury and the grieving widow have a sloppily kept secret "history." So...Is it murder? Is it conspiracy? Is it an accident...Is it revenge...? And why is Jake wearing one brown loafer and one cordovan?

    As light reading goes, this one is a page-turner, though with the low-key feel of a summer dusk at Longboat Key.

    Highly recommended fun!
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    39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Just as Good! July 12, 2010
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Just as good the second (or is it the third or fourth?) time around as when I first read this book, discovering both Jake Lassiter and Paul Levine at the same time. Breezy writing, and a fun character, surrounded by a more than decent plot. I loved it then, and gobbled up everything by Levine after that, and I'm glad I took the time to buy and read again for a good cause. (Funny story - discovered Levine because I was looking to see whether Levinson [,Robert S.] was on the shelf of a then local bookstore.
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    20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars DECENT FIRST BOOK October 29, 2011
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Always looking for new books in the genre and the Jake Lassiter series was highly recommended, I am glad I looked at Paul Levine. Being from South Florida I think adds to the fun of the book for me. Jake Lassiter is a go get 'em lawyer and team him with crusty old retired coroner Charlie Riggs and you have quite an interesting team. Good characters and fun dialogue. TO SPEAK FOR THE DEAD is a solid first effort and I will read the next book in the series, NIGHT VISION. RECOMMENDED
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    33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, not recommended January 27, 2012
    By Vols55
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I say "sadly" because the author shows some flashes of greatness, with features of levity similar to Elmore Leonard and detail similar to Michael Connelly.

    However, for a non-fantasy book to be good it has to be at least somewhat believable and this one is so ridiculous at times on legal grounds, medical grounds, and martial arts grounds, not to mention just common sense, that it is more pitiful than even laughable.

    I find it inexplicable that the author does enough research to know what a rongeur is but not an aneurysm, and with many similar examples throughout the book.

    It really is a shame that the author didn't refine this into something much better.
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    22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars Ludicrous. April 29, 2011
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I gave this book a second star ONLY because I wanted to find out what happened enough to read to its end. And for Tyrone Hambone Washington.

    Otherwise, it was unbelievable, no matter what "Lady Trial Lawyer" claims. No prosecutor would go to trial based on merely the word of a woman who could have planted the alleged murder weapon and who had already sued the alleged murderer for malpractice. If he or she did, no competent lawyer would fail to ask when and where the accuser met the accused, i.e., when she was stripping and giving lap dances in a strip bar. Nor do judges wait until the middle of a trial to rule on whether certain evidence is admissable.

    It's also unbelievable that a person who hears the gruesome and painful details of a loved one's death from a "friend" would continue to consider that person a friend.

    Maybe that's just me. But the rest of it simply doesn't hold up. Not recommended for the well-informed.
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    9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars AnEntertaining Read August 4, 2011
    This was my first Jake Lassiter book and I found him to be an engaging character. I especially liked his irreverent approach to his job, as well as life in general. Secondary characters were equally engaging, although Granny Lassiter was a bit much. Most of the plot elements rang true, with the exception of some of the scenes with the dead body. Not being a lawyer, I can't say how true the courtroom scenes were, but I do know criminal law is showmanship, and that is something Lassiter does well.

    By far, the best part of a Paul Levine book is his wry sense of humor and wonderful twist of wordage. I found myself wanting to highlight every other wisecrack or sardonic comment that came from Lassiter or Granny, or any of the other great characters in the book.
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A page-turner, greatly entertaining read! September 20, 2010
    I strongly recommend the Jake Lassiter series by Paul Levine to all the mystery/legl thriller enthusiasts. Jake Lassiter (the main protagonist) is a former pro-football player turned lawyer with an attitude and a humor to match the sophistication of the award-winning series' storylines.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
    I just discovered Paul Levine and plan to read as many of the Jake Lassiter books as I can. This one ha
    Published 19 hours ago by kah
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
    Great writing,terrific plot...kept me guessing the whole time! Talk about emotional upheavals...this one has it all....This writer keeps me coming back for more!
    Published 16 days ago by William E. Thomas
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Can't wait to read another!
    Published 21 days ago by debmotley
    5.0 out of 5 stars Relevant and timeless!
    Loved it. Started at the beginning of the series and, even though it was published a good while ago, it remains relevant. Read more
    Published 29 days ago by Robert Heath
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
    I have become a fan of Paul Levine's "Jake Lassiter" books. For me, his style is easy to follow and his tongue-in-cheek humor is great. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Brandy DiFauda
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
    It had a great pace and I liked the characters. It was a little predictable but overall and immensely enjoyable read!
    Published 1 month ago by Frances Roberts
    5.0 out of 5 stars Holy Cow! you won't get it until the last page and then wow.........
    Jake Lassiter is such a likable guy! I want him for my attorney but he really can keep you up nights til you finish the story! Great characters and locations!! Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Deborah Cundiff
    3.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read.
    Ok for a casual read. Not a spell bound hold your attention type of read. The individual character's were fun in the fact that they were so different. Bright and Colorful.
    Published 1 month ago by janet bodinar
    3.0 out of 5 stars Good tory, far to much filler
    Character is strong and storyline is decent. However, the repetitive use of filler description down to the ost minute detail is distracting. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Reader
    4.0 out of 5 stars A little pat
    A little pat plot and resolution, but a most enjoyable read. The lawyer's character is charming ..Even with it's flaws it is an entertaining book.
    Published 2 months ago by Prince Steamer
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    More About the Author

    PAUL LEVINE worked as a newspaper reporter, a law professor and a trial lawyer before becoming a full-time novelist. Paul claims that writing fiction comes naturally: he told whoppers for many years in his legal briefs. His books have been translated into 23 languages, none of which he can read.

    He has won the John D. MacDonald fiction award and has been nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Macavity, the International Thriller Writers Award, the Shamus Award, and the James Thurber Humor Prize.

    He is best known for two series of legal thrillers: "Jake Lassiter" and "Solomon vs. Lord." A Miami Dolphins linebacker turned hard-nosed lawyer, Lassiter has been described by Booklist as "one of the most entertaining series characters in contemporary crime fiction." In USA Today, Larry King wrote: "Mystery writing at its very, very best." There are eleven books in the series, beginning with "To Speak for the Dead" which is still going strong 25 years after initial hardcover publication.

    "Solomon vs. Lord" is a fast-paced, battle-of-the-sexes dramedy featuring two young Miami lawyers -- Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord -- who duel in and out of court. The Chicago Sun-Times praised the legal caper as: "Remarkably fresh and original with characters you can't help loving and sparkling dialogue that echoes the Hepburn-Tracy screwball comedies. A hilarious, touching and entertaining twist on the legal thriller." The book is the first of four in the series.

    New in 2015: "Bum Rap," which brings together Lassiter with Solomon & Lord. Jake has had it with sleazy clients, shifty prosecutors, and a legal system out of whack. He's about to hang up his shingle when Victoria Lord calls. Solomon has been arrested for murder. What's worse: the only person who can clear him has disappeared. Now it's up to Lassiter and Lord to track down the witness--a stunning Bar girl--before she's roped in by the feds...or eliminated by the Russian mob.

    "The pages fly by and the laughs keep coming in this irresistible South Florida crime romp. A delicious mix of thriller and comic crime caper." - Booklist (starred review)

    Nine of Paul's novels have hit number one bestseller status on Amazon in their genres:

    LEGAL THRILLERS: To Speak for the Dead; Solomon vs. Lord; Fool Me Twice; and Illegal

    MYSTERIES: State vs. Lassiter; The Deep Blue Alibi; Mortal Sin; and Impact

    SERIAL KILLERS: Night Vision

    Here's a list of the "Jake Lassiter" books in order of publication:

    To Speak for the Dead
    Night Vision
    False Dawn
    Mortal Sin
    Fool Me Twice
    Flesh & Bones
    Last Chance Lassiter
    State vs. Lassiter
    Bum Rap

    The "Solomon vs. Lord" series:

    Solomon vs. Lord
    The Deep Blue Alibi
    Kill All the Lawyers
    Habeas Porpoise

    OTHER ENDEAVORS: Paul wrote 23 episodes of the TV series "JAG," which gave him an opportunity to steer a nuclear submarine and land on the deck of an aircraft carrier, all without endangering national security. He is a graduate of Penn State University where he majored in journalism and the University of Miami Law School where he majored in the swimming pool. He passed the Florida Bar exam in his first try in what he suspects was a computer glitch.

    He was a trial lawyer with the mammoth international law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where he did not even pretend to know all his partners' names. He specialized in "complex litigation," cases so abstruse that even lawyers charging 800 bucks an hour didn't fully understand them. He tried hundreds of cases and handled appeals at every level, including the Supreme Court. Along the way, he filed expense accounts nearly as creative as his legal briefs.

    Paul says he enjoys writing more than lawyering because he no longer keeps time sheets and gets to work in his underwear. He formerly lived in the hills of Southern California, which he claims are populated by rattlesnakes and coyotes, and those are just the Hollywood agents. Paul recently moved back to Miami, a place Joan Didion once called "a rich and wicked pastel boomtown." But to Paul, it's just a place where the "mosquitoes are biting, but the fish ain't."

    More info at
    Follow Paul @Jake_Lassiter
    Visit Paul's brand-new Facebook Author Page for the latest news:

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