Review

Kill All the Lawyers

by Paul Levine



Paul Levine is a great humor writer. His Solomon vs. Lord
series provides ample evidence of this. He plays the frequently
explosive chemistry between Steve Solomon and Victoria Lord for all
it's worth, utilizing the witty dialogue the two law partners and
soul mates engage in as well as Solomon's internal musings to
create a hilarious reading experience from first page to last. But
it's not until Levine removes at least some of the humorous
components that the real depth of his talent stands truly
revealed.

It is Levine's uncanny ability to walk the literary tightrope
stretching between humor and pathos that ultimately makes KILL ALL
THE LAWYERS, his latest Solomon vs. Lord novel, the best in
the series to date. Solomon is still the irreverent wise guy and
Lord is his perfect foible, one being immovable and the other being
irresistible at any given point in time (though they frequently
exchange these roles) and there are still laughs aplenty, though
those don't really kick in until a third or so into this fine work.
There is, however, an element of darkness permeating the book that
is almost Chandleresque in depth.

KILL ALL THE LAWYERS begins with Solomon's past coming back to
haunt him. In this case, the ghost is Dr. William Kreeger. Solomon
represented Kreeger in a murder trial and bent the rules of
jurisprudence. In Kreeger's case, though, he did this in order to
lose. Kreeger is now out of jail and gaining newfound popularity as
a pop psychologist with his own radio program, using his fame and
broadcast platform to take solid aim at Solomon, who of course has
other problems. Bobby, Solomon's nephew, is now 12 and puberty is
hitting him pretty hard in the form of a middle-school temptress
who he's finding difficult to resist (especially since he doesn't
want to). Janice, Solomon's sister and Bobby's mother, reappears on
the scene, wishing to reestablish contact with and custody of her
son.

As if this wasn't enough, Lord's irrepressible mother has a problem
so serious that she does the unthinkable --- and turns to Solomon
for help. It is Kreeger, however, who poses the biggest and darkest
threat not only to Solomon but also to his loved ones. As events
unfold and the depths of Kreeger's amorality are revealed, it
becomes clear that while it's difficult to justify Solomon's prior
actions toward him, it is also arguable that Solomon did not go far
enough. The climax is a shocker, in a novel full of them.

Levine is in the midst of one of the most entertaining and
addicting series currently being published, and one has the feeling
that he's just getting started. If you haven't begun reading the
Solomon vs. Lord books, then KILL ALL THE LAWYERS is a great
place to start.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 22, 2011

Kill All the Lawyers
by Paul Levine

  • Publication Date: August 29, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 0440242754
  • ISBN-13: 9780440242758