Book - False Dawn
Levine's third novel starring lawyer and ex-Miami Dolphin Jake Lassiter (after To Speak for the Dead ) mixes an international conspiracy stew out of a huge list of ingredients that includes Cuban socialists, Cuban exiles, Japanese art smugglers, double-dealing CIA agents and even a beautiful operative from the Finnish Intelligence Agency. Lassiter, working at the Miami firm of Harman and Fox, is asked to defend his old friend Francisco Crespo, who cheerfully admits that he murdered a Russian co-worker by skewering him on a forklift. But medical evidence indicates that Crespo was unconscious at the time of the Russian's death. Why is he lying? Things become a little clearer when Lassiter receives a veiled warning from Matsuo Yagamata, Crespo's employer and a big Harman and Fox client, and a lot clearer when Yagamata displays the contents of a Faberge egg he has no business owning. By then it's pretty obvious what's going on, so the real question becomes: who's on what side? The answer changes literally chapter by chapter, with double-, triple- and quadruple-crosses piling up to the point of self-parody. The silliness is redeemed only by the character of Levine's hero and narrator. Lassiter is like the sole halfback in a field full of quarterbacks: he just takes the ball and runs, and whoever hands him the ball points him in another direction. A quirky little mystery with enough twists and turns to satisfy Robert Ludlum fans and a unique hero who will always be more of a ball-carrier than a playmaker.