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.
Larry D. Thompson is a veteran trial lawyer and has drawn on decades of experience in the courtroom to produce riveting legal thrillers. Dead Peasants is is third After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, Thompson founded the Houston trial firm where he still serves as managing partner. The proud father of three grown children, he lives and works in Texas but spends his summers in Colorado, where he crafts his novels and hikes the mountains surrounding Vail. His greatest inspiration came from Thomas Thompson, his brother, who wrote many best-selling true-crime books and novels.
The knock at the door of the RV was so soft that at first Jack thought it must have been the wind. It came again. He rose from his chair and opened the door. An elderly black lady who he recognized as June Davis stood at the bottom of the steps.
“Mrs. Davis, I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you at first. Please come in. It’s chilly out there for early May.” Jack went down a step and extended his hand to assist his visitor, then offered her something to drink.
June perched on the edge of the cushioned bench that circled the table. “Water would be nice,” she said in a soft voice.
Jack went to the refrigerator and returned with a bottle. He twisted the cap a half a turn and handed it to her. She twisted the cap the rest of the way, took a small sip, replaced the cap and set it on the table.
“How are you doing, Mrs. Davis? I mean since your husband died have you been managing okay?”
“I’m fine, Mr. Bryant. My house is paid for and I get a little social security check. Besides, my kids look after me.” She reached into her purse and retrieved an envelope which she slid across the table to Jack. “This came in the mail, addressed to me. I, I wasn’t sure what to do with it; so, I called Miss Colby. She said I should take it to you.”
Jack picked up the envelope. The return address was the United States Postal Service. He opened it and found another envelope, this one torn and mangled with the addressee illegible. The letter from the postal service read, Dear Mrs. Davis: One of our sorting machines jammed and mangled this letter. We apologize for the problem. Your name was the only one we could make out on the letter, and we were able to get your address. Please handle as you see fit. Very truly yours.
Jack looked at the mangled letter. It was from Euro Life Insurance Company, based on the Isle of Gibraltar. It stated that Euro had determined that one William Davis was married to June Davis. Under the terms of the policy, since it paid double indemnity in the event of an accidental death, the benefit was $400,000, payable to Allison Southwest. Jack looked through the documents a second time before he looked up.
“Did you know that they had insured Willie for $400,000?”
“Lawdy, no, Mr. Bryant. Willie only made $20,000 a year. Why would anyone insure him for that kind of money? Besides, he retired from Allison fifteen years ago.”
“Good question. Let me keep these papers and the check. I’ll get back to you in a couple of days.”
This is a easy post to write because Larry Thompson captured my attention with this writing early in the novel and held me captive until the very end. The protagonist character Jack Bryant is one of those type of lawyers that you would hire in minute because he is genuine and of a good heart, but at the same time he is also a character that has his own flaws and that springs him to life from the words on the white pages.
I thought earlier on I knew who was behind all the killings, but Larry Thompson’s writing style masterfully kept the real conclusion hidden until the dramatic end … I liked that! The ongoing investigation along with the personal life of Jack Bryant kept me turning the digital pages into the night. The plots and subplots are filled with intricate detail while still compelling and true to life. Every character is so well defined that it is easy to be fascinated … even with those characters that make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.
I am giving this novel a 4.5 out of 5 rating. I will report that my digital copy hadnumerous formatting problems on my Kindle and I can only hope that this was an advance digital copy and when you purchase your copy these formatting problems will be corrected, but I can only write a review on what I was provided. I can assure you that you will not be disappointed with Dead Peasants by Larry Thompson.
In accordance with new FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers I am disclosing the following: I was provided a digital copy of this book and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”