Paul Levine

Author Duels with his (fictional) Protagonist.

To Speak for the Dead by Paul Levine exchanges barbs with Jake Lassiter, protagonist of his series of legal thrillers. The occasion is the 20th anniversary of the publication of “To Speak for the Dead,” which introduced the linebacker-turned-lawyer to the world of crime fiction.

“To Speak for the Dead” is now an e-book, with all proceeds going to the Four Diamonds Fund, which supports cancer treatment and research at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. More information and Download available here.

Paul: Let me get this off my chest. I’m sorry it’s been so long since I wrote a Lassiter book.

Jake: But you came back, didn’t you? Came back to good old Jake, your meal ticket.

Paul: True. There’ll be a new Lassiter book next year. And you must be happy that “To Speak for the Dead” is finally available as an e-book.

Jake: I’m just happy there are two hot women in the book, and both want some of the Jakester.

Paul: The book opens with what looks like a routine medical malpractice trial. It soon appears that your client isn’t a bad surgeon, but might be a murderer. What’s the truth?

Jake: If you want to know,, you gotta lay out $2.99 for the e-book and help kids with cancer.

Paul: Then let’s talk about you. Have you changed much in the 20 years since “To Speak for the Dead” was published?

Jake: You tell me. I don’t carry a Blackberry, an I-Phone, Pre, or a purse. You won’t find my mug on My Space or Facebook. I don’t have a life coach, an aroma therapist, or a yoga instructor, and I don’t do Pilates.

Paul: So you’re not exactly trendy?

Jake: I’m a carnivore among vegans, a brew and burger guy in a Chardonnay and paté world. I open the door for women and walk next to the street in case a horse and buggy jump the curb.

Paul: You’re a throwback, then?

Jake: If that’s what you call someone with old friends, old habits, and old values.

Paul: You live in the Coconut Grove section of Miami. How do you like it there?

Jake: Too many teenagers and tourists. Too many tattooed guys parading around with macaws on their shoulders.

Paul: Why would they do that?

Jake: The same reason men do everything. To attract babes.

Paul: Does it work?

Jake: Only with women whose idea of foreplay is getting crapped on by a bird.

Paul: Do you have a philosophy of life?

Jake: I try to do the least damage possible. I never park in the handicapped space or toss gum wrappers on the sidewalk. I help little old ladies cross the street, and sometimes, tall young ones, too.

Paul: Anything else you want to say?

Jake: Download “To Speak for the Dead.” Even if you don’t have an e-reader, you can but read it on your laptop or desktop. Only $2.99 and it’s for kids with cancer. Available at http://www.paul-levine.com/content/jake-lassiter.asp

Paul: Thank you, Jake. Can we do this again sometime?

Jake: Not unless you subpoena me.

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