To Speak for the Dead ~ by Paul Levine

Dr Roger Stanton is on trial for malpractice –  or was what he did murder?  It seems the good doctor’s hand might have slipped while performing a laminectomy on Philip Corrigan and cut an aorta instead.   Stanton went to Jake Lassiter for his defense and Lassiter found that Stanton himself was slippery guy,   not always telling the whole truth.  For instance,  Stanton and the widow of the patient, the ex-stripper Melanie Corrigan, had been having a little affair and Stanton was truly smitten.   Smitten enough for a motive to kill?   And then there’s Susan Corrigan,  Philip’s daughter by his deceased wife – what’s she got to do with it?  A large inheritance, for one thing.

To Speak for the Dead
by Paul Levine
1990 / 307 pages
read by Luke Daniels  10h 7m 
rating:  A  crime (legal thriller) 

Jake Lassiter is the protagonist of about a dozen  courtroom thrillers by Paul Levine and we’re being introduced in this first of the series.  (I love good legal thrillers.)

Continuing with the plot –  the patient didn’t actually die until about 12 hours after  the otherwise successful laminectomy.  The widow sues for malpractice anyway and the doctor hires Lassiter for his defense.  Easy case – Lassiter wins – and then the action begins because if it wasn’t the operation,  what and who was it that killed Corrigan?  And, of course,  why?

There’s a fascinating character named Dr Charlie Riggs who is very helpful to Jake and I think he’ll be regular character in the series.  Charlie is a retired medical examiner who says it’s his job  “to speak for the dead,”    And Lassiter’s grandmother enters the picture, a funny little back-home character.

Lots of fun –


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