Paul Levine's latest thriller is another that deals with controversial border politics and the charged issue of immigration, although it uses its subject matter more effectively. Illegal treats the issues with both seriousness and satirical wit, lending the topic greater entertainment value while still making a point.
Jimmy "Royal" Payne, a skilled, but disintegrating Los Angeles trial attorney, is on the lam after stealing some of the money the government gave him to bribe a corrupt judge. He ends up helping a young Mexican boy (an illegal immigrant) search for his mother, who's been forced into a prostitution ring.
Levine is one of the few thriller authors who can craft a plot filled with suspense while still making the reader smile at the characters' antics. Illegal doesn't work quite as well as some of Levine's previous books, especially the outstanding Solomon vs. Lord series, but it's worth giving a go.
From the Chicago Sun-Times, May 3, 2009