Dead Peasants by Larry D. Thompson

Previews of DEAD PEASANTS have been unanimous in their praise:

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.  It adds up to another masterpiece with more twists than a cauldron of Lone Star rattlesnakes.

It’s a five-star thriller that will keep you on edge until the shocking conclusion.

It’s a must read for lovers of legal thrillers.

Thompson draws on his vast knowledge of the law and the courtroom to create colorful characters and spin a tale with twists at every turn of the page.

The last thing that Jackson Bryant thought he would do when he retired to his home town of Fort Worth was to be faced with solving a series of killings.  At age fifty he had made more money as a plaintiff lawyer than he could ever spend.  When his son, J. D., mustered out of the Marines and announced that he was going to TCU to play football, Jack closed his practice in Beaumont, and bought a mansion in the Rivercrest Country Club section of Fort Worth.

Colby Stripling, the realtor who sold him the house, was stunning.  After closing the deal, he tried to turn a business relationship into something romantic.  She rejected his advances, saying something about having another man in her life, but agreed to the occasional lunch or dinner.

Jack soon became bored with retirement.  At Colby’s suggestion, he decided to do pro bono work for the poor.  He found a vacant lot next to Moe’s icehouse on North Main and parked his RV there with a sign in front that announced, “Lawyer, No Fee.”  He discovered that he enjoyed helping people who had disputes about their credit cards and ballooning mortgages.  Further, he liking hanging with the crowd at Moe’s ice house where he adjourned each afternoon for a beer or two and a few games of dominoes with mechanics, plumbers, laborers and such, the kind of people he had represented for his entire career.

Moe had to close the icehouse one day.  He and the usual customers had to attend the funeral of Willie Davis, a retired porter at a Cadillac dealership.  Willie had been found at a creek near his house in Denton County with his head bashed in, apparently the result of a fall as he tried to cross the creek to his favorite fishing spot.  Jack drove the regulars to the funeral in a small African American church and was shocked to find Colby sitting in the front with Willie’s family.  Afterwards he learned that Colby had worked for the car dealership as finance manager after she graduated from TCU.  Willie was the porter there and her friend.

Willie’s wife, June, appeared at Jack’s door a couple of months after his death, clutching a letter from the post office in her hand.  It included a check for death benefits on Willie’s life for $400,000; only the check was payable to Allison Southwest, the mega car company that owned the dealership, not to June.  Jack took the check to Dwayne Allison, the owner of Allison Southwest and demanded that he write a check in the same amount to June Davis, pointing out that Allison had not had an insurable interest in Willie since he retired fifteen years ago.  Allison threw Jack out of his office, and he filed a lawsuit against Allison for the insurance proceeds and treble damages.

When Jack refused to drop the lawsuit, Colby became the target of attempts on her life.  A hired killer tried to murder her in New Orleans where she and Jack had gone to watch J.D. and the TCU football team play in the Sugar Bowl.  The driver of a pickup ran her car into a bridge abutment.  Molotov cocktails were tossed into her house, destroying the house and its contents.   Fortunately, the killer didn’t know that she had become so frightened about the threats to her life that she had moved into a spare bedroom in Jack’s mansion.

With no help coming from law enforcement, Jack, J. D. and Colby take it upon themselves to figure out why she, Willie Davis and others had become more valuable dead than alive. In a riveting legal thriller, all of the evidence is not revealed until Jack gets June Davis’s case against Allison Southwest to trial where the testimony and the work of Jack and his team finally reveal all of the facts, and the killer is apprehended as he is trying to escape in his private jet.

*****

After trying lawsuits for thirty-five years, Larry Thompson turned his knowledge of the courtroom into writing thrillers. DEAD PEASANTS is his third. He grew up in Fort Worth, the setting for DEAD PEASANTS, before going to the University of Texas, majoring in journalism before going to law school. He comments that Fort Worth is such a unique city that it became a major character in the story. He is the proud father of three children and four grandchildren. While still a busy trial lawyer, he and his wife, Vicki, find time to spend summers in Vail where he hikes, plays golf, hangs out with one of his sons and works on his next novel.

To learn more about Larry, please visit his website.

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