Book Review: Cheater’s Game by Paul Levine @Jake_Lassiter

Cheater’s Game
A Jake Lassiter Thriller #14
Paul Levine
Herald Square Publishing, April 2020
ISBN 978-1-7342510-0-5
Trade Paperback

The latest in Levine’s Jake Lassiter Thriller series finds Jake in what can only be called a “ripped from the headlines” situation.  Jake’s beloved nephew Kip whom Jake raised, has been working with a brilliant millionaire who has set up a program to help the children of rich parents get into universities that they would not otherwise qualify for under any circumstances.  Is this beginning to sound familiar?  Yes, the story is much like, though not the same as, the current scandal playing out in the federal district court in my hometown of Boston.

Kip, not unlike many other 20-year-old young people, believes he not only has come up with an infallible scheme that fits very well with that of his new mentor but that it’s not illegal and, in any case, his mentor will never give him up, as Jake did not give up his mentor when the FBI came calling.  Alas, it isn’t so.  When the FBI then approached Kip’s mentor and presented an offer he couldn’t refuse, he threw Kip under the bus.  So, now facing numerous federal crimes and the possibility of spending decades in prison, to whom does he turn?  Why to his uncle Jake, of course!  Now, Jake is a long-time criminal defense lawyer and a very good one.  But he is also a former football player who suffered many head injuries and has bouts of memory loss for which he is being treated with an experimental protocol by his fiancée, a neurologist.  That said there is a serious question about whether, as good as Jake is – or was – as a lawyer, is he up to defending Kip against the government’s 37 claims of racketeering, mail fraud, and money laundering, all supported by his mentor’s testimony against him?

The trial is as dramatic as anyone could possibly want.  I don’t know what the rest of the series is like, but I highly recommend this book and if the others are as good, you’re in for several very good reads.

Reviewed by Melinda Drew, April 2020.