Celebrating the Launch of Dead Peasants
Lawyer Jack Bryant retires early to Fort Worth to kick back, relax and watch his son play football at TCU. Bored with retirement he opens a pro bono office in his RV. When Jack finds an elderly widow at his doorstep, clutching a check for life insurance proceeds on her husband but payable to his former employer, Jack files a civil suit to collect the benefits rightfully due the widow. A seemingly accidental death of his client’s husband thrusts Jack into a vortex of serial killings. He and his new love interest find themselves targets in the same murder for hire scheme. To stop the killings Jack must unravel what in their past makes certain people worth more dead than alive.
The ARC’s have been out for review for several weeks and of the reviews coming in:
“Jack Bryant is an übersuccessful lawyer who decides to retire after winning a huge wrongful-death case. Jack moves back home to Fort Worth where he can spend more time with his college-football-playing son. But he’s really too young to be retired, so he sets up an old RV in a bad part of town, offering free legal help to whoever needs it, and stumbles upon one of the biggest cases in his career. June Davis, widow, accidentally discovers that her husband’s former employer had a very large life-insurance policy, a “dead peasant” policy, on her husband, which made the employer the beneficiary. A string of seemingly unrelated accidental deaths are paying off handsomely for the financially strapped business. There isn’t much to the mystery that most readers won’t figure out in a hurry, but legal-fiction fans will still appreciate the courtroom scenes. The pacing is fast, the characters well developed, and the lawyer is likable. Grisham aficionados should be delighted with Thompson.” — Stacy Alesi
- AP and Fort Worth journalist Mike Cochran, author of “Texas vs. Davis” (and if you want) and recent biographies of Midland wildcatter Clayton Williams Jr. and Las Vegas gambler Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson. (Those two are titled “Claytie” and “The Godfather of Poker.”)
“Set in Fort Worth and skipping murderously across Texas, Houston attorney Larry Thompson has whipped out another legal thriller that will propel readers on a riveting ride in, out and around Cowtown–where the author grew up. Coming on the heels of his widely-acclaimed “The Trial,” Thompson’s chilling “Dead Peasants” features retired lawyer Jack Bryant, his beautiful but mysterious love interest Colby Stripling, a remorseless killer, a couple of ruthless but financially distressed multi-millionaires and a wisened but exhuberant district attorney named Joe Sherrod–among others. It all adds up to another masterpiece with more twists than a caldron of Lone Star rattlesnakes.”
- Joe Shannon, Tarrant County District Attorney in Ft. Worth, Texas just previewed Dead Peasants. DP is set in Ft. Worth. (or is that Sherrod?)
“I am in the Smokey Mountains just east of Knoxville. I took the book with me on a family vacation. I just finished it. I could hardly put it down. Excellent job.”
- This Review from Larry Harrison Movie reviewer – sign up for his email movies reviews – I don’t go to a movie without reading his review!
“Congratulations, Larry. It is an excellent novel and you have a shot at greatness with this one; this was big-time writing and you are ready for the big-time. I thought about you often while reading “Dead Peasants” knowing that all your skills and experience as a veteran trial lawyer were being laid out for all to see. Well done!”
“Jack and Colby will win you over…Thompson has shown his ability to tell an intriguing, suspenseful story, and you will enjoy this tall tale of a Texas trial lawyer.”
“The newest Jack Bryant saga; will we hear from this legendary lawyer again?”
Good Luck, Larry
- Book Reviewer Dellani Oakes
“Dead Peasants” is a well paced legal thriller that kept this reader on the edge of her seat. I couldn’t put it down. There’s just enough courtroom drama to satisfy the legal types, and all of it is authentic – the author, Larry D. Thompson, is a lawyer. For the more ghoulish, there’s plenty of murder and mystery to keep you entertained. Jack, Colby and J.D. keep finding and putting the pieces together, but it isn’t until the end that the final piece clicks into place.
The characters in “Dead Peasants” are fully rounded and authentic. The plot moves well and the villain is purely villainous. I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery.
5 Golden Acorns
Fran Lewis with BlogTalk Radio: I will be on her show for an hour on October 18, 2012.
“Once again Larry D. Thompson has penned a five star novel that far surpasses other legal/mystery thrillers. Jack Bryant is a solid character who with the help of our esteemed author will enlighten readers as to why you need to be careful when working for any company: Dead Peasant Polices: You don’t want one taken out on your life!“
Jack decides to move back to his hometown in Fort Worth, Texas hoping to retire and get closer to his son J.D. who is going to play football for TCU. But, things are not always what they appear and meeting Colby Stripling, his realtor, would bring out emotions in him that he thought were lost. Colby is bright, curious and wants to know more about Jack but not in a romantic way. Asking him about his past, his career opens up new avenues for her to get to know him and for Jack to explain he wanted everyone to realize that he is a success and the house that would land her a huge commission would be his home and a status symbol of his accomplishments.
But, this story has much more and many twists as we meet Dwayne Allison whose car dealerships are in trouble of being closed if he does not come up with a way to pay his loans. The bank refuses to renew his loans, his customers cannot get money to fund a loan to buy cars and his brother who manages his insurance programs cannot do anything to remedy the situation. But, Dwayne is crafty and thinks he has the solution. Why not cancel the life insurance policies he took out on 7000 current and former employees and use the money to pay off his debts. But, some decisions made early on backfire and the only way he can collect is if the employee is deceased.
Jack gets his dream house with the help of Colby who agrees to decorate it for him. Hoping to get closer to her, she keeps things at arms length for personal reasons, which will be revealed later. When Jack decides life is getting too dull he decides to rekindle his career but in a different way. He decides to open his office in RV with the sign” “Lawyer, No Fee” giving back to those who are needy and cannot afford lawyers is a great way to help the people of his new community and to stop some of the illegal practices that seem to be plaguing some of the people living there. One involves a credit card company that jacks up the interest when a client is late and then demands more than just the minimum payment each month plus extra.
June Davis is the wife of Willie who worked for Allison’s dealership as a porter. Willie’s death is definitely suspect as are others that follow. Jack learns that Willie had a life insurance policy that his widow did not know about. Dead Peasant policies are insurance policies taken out on employees without their knowledge. In this case the policies were taken out on workers who are current and those that are no longer with the company. Premiums are paid and the company is the beneficiary. When the case comes to court and June Davis is questioned, what happens will let the reader know that she is wiser than the lawyers expected and the end result will surprise you. But, when Colby is once again attacked more drastic measures come into play as she reveals the truth behind her visits to a nursing home and the man she visits who worked for the same car dealership as Willie. Three attempts on her life and the killer is still out there. With the trial coming to pass and the hope of getting June’s case settled what happens at this trial will enlighten the reader as to courtroom procedures, legalities, insurance fraud, a judge’s integrity and how far Jack will go to prove his client deserves the money.
Dead Peasants is a legal/ murder thriller that will keep you on edge from start to finish until you come to the surprise and shocking conclusion.
- Glenda Whatley, Miami: (Married to the real Johnny Bob from So Help Me God)
Just finished “Dead Peasants”. What a terrific plot. I couldn’t put it down once I got into it and read it straight through in one sitting on the beach. Actually, the sun was down and all the chairs had been cleared before I turned the last page. Your writing and character development just keeps getting better and better. Personalities and characteristics are spot on for each of them, and you make them come to life for the reader. You are probably the only author I know who can write a fiction novel with a romantic interest and not resort to steamy sex scenes.
Your explanation of who they are and why your characters behave as they do are logical, sensible and move the story along at a break neck pace. As a non Texan, I even enjoyed the thumb nail sketches of neighborhoods and institutions in Dallas and Fort Worth from your then and now perspective. And of course, it tickled me to run across your character who “commuted to Arlington State and sold appliances after school at Leonards.” Furthermore, the suspense compounded by the carefully constructed and fully believable court scenes (which incidentally you do as well or even better than Grisham) had me spell bound. There’s something for everyone in this book including a workaholic absentee father/hot shot attorney looking to make amends with his former bad boy turned Marine, turned college football star. Murder, mayhem and a corker of a court room denouement. What else could you want from a legal thriller. Loved, loved, loved it!
- Sheila Death on Gather
by Sheila Deeth
February 1, 2007
A thrilling blend of courtroom scenes, fascinating characters, great locales and intricate investigation, Larry D. Thompson’s Dead Peasants has it all. Lawyer Jack Bryant has the instincts of a gambler and the fortune of a rich financier when he retires from his practice and returns to the Cowtown of his youth. Of course, Jack Bryant’s on the rich side of town these days, but he values his roots and values people too. Suddenly, against all my preconceptions, I find I really like him. So does Colby but she’s keeping secrets. So does Jack’s semi-estranged son. And so do his new friends on the wrong side of town, including the elderly widow whose husband went fishing and never came home.Jack Bryant fishes for clues in this legal thriller as the tension grows. The excitement of a complex investigation is matched by danger and authentic courtroom drama, filled with murder plots, revelations and surprise. The modern-day world is vividly real with failed car dealerships, struggling banks and foreclosures. Some turn to legal and illegal tricks to survive while others turn to Jack, and he’s determined to do them justice. By the end of this novel I don’t want the story to end and I hope there’ll be more. These characters are just too good to let go of.Impossible to put down, thrilling, exciting, intriguing, just plain good fun, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Highly recommended. Disclosure: I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Praise for Larry D. Thompson’s previous novels:
So Help Me God and The Trial
“Larry Thompson’s THE TRIAL is just terriﬁc: a big contemporary theme, insider legal insights, a tight, gripping plot, and characters that live and
breathe. This book is as real as a heart attack, and every bit as suspenseful.”
John Lescroart, New York Times best selling author of the Dismas Hardy series
“Larry Thompson has written a bright, feisty, smart legal thriller drawing on his three decades as trial lawyer. There’s plenty of sizzle and clout from a plot that unwinds similar to speeding down a slalom course, with all the associated twists and turns. He certainly has the touch.”
Steve Berry, New York Times best selling author The Paris Vendetta
“The Trial by Larry Thompson is not only fascinating but explosive with true insider details about both the law and medicine. With characters you’d want for your neighbors, the story will touch you, teach you and rivet you to the last page.”
Gayle Lynds, New York Times best selling author of The Book of Spies
“I couldn’t put The Trial down. It’s a riveting court room thriller, and the tension just keeps building. Wonderful!”
Louise Penny, New York Times bestselling author
“Fabulous! Larry Thompson hooked me from the ﬁrst page of The Trial and never let go. A fast-paced, gripping story with characters you can root for – and against – and the kind of twists, turns and surprises that make for a can’t-put-down read.”
Carla Neggers, New York Times best selling author
“This might be the perfect thriller for our times. Larry Thompson’s stunningly powerful and emotionally-wrenching book combines the best of Michael Crichton and Robin Cook with a hefty touch of John Grisham. Call it a prescient treatise on the collusion of science and business. Call it the ﬁrst ever bio-legal thriller. I call it ﬂat-out great!”
Jon Land, author of Strong Justice
“Thompson paints an all too real and frightening scenario of corporate greed and malfeasance. With vivid, sympathetic characters and multiple plot twists. I read The Trial in one day.”
Robert Dugoni, New York Times bestselling author of Bodily Harm, Murder One and Conviction
“A stellar thriller and Thompson’s best book to date. Complex, compelling, convincing and all too real, you will have a hard time putting this book down. It’s not just the pacing – which is breakneck, or the plot which is utterly riveting, it’s not just the realism and know how that only a real lawyer can but it’s the characters who you care about and root for and who touch your heart.”
M.J. Rose, international bestseller
“No writer alive knows the courtroom any better than trial lawyer-turnednovelist Larry D. Thompson. He stakes out the gray area between morality and the law, cranks up the tension, and delivers a powerful story with compelling characters…. When the gavel sounds in Thompson’s courtroom, the reader snaps to attention.”
Paul Levine, bestselling author of Solomon vs. Lord.