July 14, 2011

Flesh & Bones, by Paul Levine

I was excited to read Flesh and Bones for a couple reasons: I always like starting new books (duh!) and it was the first book I would read on my brand new Nook e-reader.

This new novel is seventh in the Jake Lassiter series, chronicling a former NFL player turned attorney in Miami. I’m always a fan of a good series but I don’t know that I’d put this at the top of my all-time favorites.

We meet Jake in a bar catching up with an old friend. A woman walks in and shoots her father before fainting in Jake’s lap. Chrissy becomes Jake’s newest client and the reader follows him as he tries to clear Chrissy of what, on first glance, appears to be a fairly black and white crime.

For me, the plot was a bit predictable and there were points throughout the novel where I questioned actions the characters took, or perhaps didn't take.
However, when Chrissy’s trial came up, I enjoyed the depth of legal knowledge and description that the author brings to his books. As a lawyer, he has an expertise that really comes through and makes the courtroom scenes shine in the novel. I also appreciated the final pages where the truth comes out. It wasn't entirely predictable and helped everything fall into place.

Characters: I think this is where the book fell short for me. I just couldn’t get down with the main characters. There were times when I thought Jake was the noble lawyer and other times when I felt he was lazy and ever so slightly smarmy. I can’t exactly pinpoint what it was about him, but for whatever reason he wasn’t 100% endearing.

I also couldn’t figure out whether I wanted to root for Chrissy or not. Sure she killed her father, but you soon learn there's more to the story. But that "more to the story" didn't become clear until the end, so I spent much of the book being skeptical of her. The author may have intended this because Jake spends most of the novel trying to figure out the same thing as he delves into the private life of his client. Chrissy would seem like the victim one minute and then shady three pages later. It was hard to root for someone who I just couldn't figure out.

The book is a breezy read, easy to get into and easy to follow.

Overall a fine read, but not a lot of depth for me aside from the quality courtroom drama. 3 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy for review purposes, but my comments are my own!

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