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Book Talk: Paul Levine, ‘Habeas Porpoise’

First, let me say that I think that Paul Levine is one of this country’s fine writers. Second, I’ve enjoyed all of the books in his Jake Lasiter series, as I think I’ve made clear in previous reviews. Third, I enjoyed his first three novels in the Solomon vs. Lord series. I found the series to be a refreshing change of pace, novels that harkened back to the enjoyable TV series “Moonlighting” from the late 1980s, and a tummy-tickling compendium of witty barbs between the two protagonists. And, you knew that there was a “but” coming.

But, Habeas Porpoise (2007, 232 pages in paperback format) is just too far “out there,” even for a tale set in Florida. Perhaps Mr. Levine’s publisher thought so, too, because this book appears to be self-published, a practice that may be unique among best-selling authors with a very successful track record. There are just too many “hard-to-believe” incidents.

The plot revolves around the attempted theft of two well-trained dolphins, Spunky and Misty, from their Cetacean Park “home,” owned by Wade Grisby. One day, while Grisby is the lone watchman, sitting with a shotgun across his lap, “ecoterrorists” succeed in freeing Spunky and Misty.



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