The cover tells the story of what to expect. It’s a jury box with wooden chairs from an old courthouse. Then the R in the title has a slash through the bottom leg of the letter. So, any thriller reader knows the story is a legal thriller about a prescription drug.
Then, consider the prologue: Luke got the bad news on a Friday. On Monday he and Samantha drove to San Antonio to see Dr. Shepherd Stevens. The worked their way through the maze of buildings at the UT Health Science Center to the hepatology department and signed in. When they were escorted to the treatment area, they were met by a distinguished-looking physician with a calm, gentle demeanor. He invited them to take a seat.
“I’m pleased that you could come on such short notice. I’ve been following your case and advising Dr. Hartman as necessary. After looking at your last blood work, I thought it was time for a full work-up.”
“I don’t understand, sir,” Samantha replied, her voice cracking with alarm.
“Samantha, your liver is still failing, even with the interferon. We’ve been following the results of your blood work. Now it’s time to do more testing.”
“Doctor, I’m only nineteen. Am I going to die before I’m twenty?” Samantha asked.
Luke Vaughan thought he had retired from trying lawsuits. That was his intent when he left Houston and moved Samantha, his teenage daughter, to his hometown of San Marcos, Texas to establish a low-key office practice. Instead, he found he traded the stress of trial work for the greater stress of raising a rebellious daughter. After Samantha volunteers as a subject in the clinical trial of a new drug, she develops liver failure. Unable to pay for a liver transplant, Luke is forced to sue the drug company in a last ditch attempt to save his daughter before her liver shuts down completely. When Luke’s efforts expose fraud and corruption in both the drug company and the FDA, he is suddenly confronted with an enemy who will do anything to win, including bribery, kidnapping and murder.
Ripped from today’s headlines, THE TRIAL is a classic David and Goliath tale of a small town lawyer fighting the incestuous relationship of a giant pharmaceutical company and the FDA. In a fast-moving legal thriller, Thompson jerks down the curtains shrouding the drug industry and exposes the ugly underbelly of the pharmaceutical industry in this country.
Sometimes a novel’s first five pages let you know where the remaining 300 are going and sometimes you’re happy to hop on—as in this spirited thriller…surprise plot turns…fans of legal thrillers will likely lose some sleep.—BOOKLIST
As real as a heart attack and every bit as suspenseful.—John Lescaroat
As you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m the guy that wrote this story. Rather than call on some of our other great authors, I figured that I knew the plot and characters well enough that I could grab your attention in a page or so. I hope I have.
This is my second novel. I’m still a trial lawyer by day, weaving stories of another kind that I hope will convince a jury that my client is right. Usually, I’m successful. I have a very successful plaintiff lawyer who is a longtime friend of mine. He has penned a book titled “Winning With Stories.” When I turned to writing novels, I figured I could turn that innate ability of a good trial lawyer into telling stories of a different kind. My goal as a trial lawyer is to capture the jury’s attention with my first words and keep them engrossed in my story until I say my last words are spoken. Likewise, that is my goal as a novelist. If you choose to read THE TRIAL, you can be one of my jurors and let me know if I succeeded. By the way, if you look at the book cover again, you’ll note that we’ve reserved a seat for you on the front row of the jury box. The red chair is yours.