Book Showcase: DARK MONEY by Larry Thompson

Dark Money by Larry ThompsonDark Money by Larry Thompson cover

Dark Money
by Larry Thompson
on Tour January 25- February 29, 2016


Jackson Bryant, the millionaire plaintiff lawyer who turned to pro bono work in Dead Peasants, is caught up in the collision of money and politics when he receives a call from his old army buddy Walt Frazier. Walt needs his assistance in evaluating security for Texas Governor Rob Lardner at a Halloween costume fundraiser thrown by one of the nation’s richest Republican billionaires at his mansion in Fort Worth.

Miriam Van Zandt is the best marksman among The Alamo Defenders, an anti-government militia group in West Texas. She attends the fundraiser dressed as a cat burglar–wounds the governor and murders the host’s brother, another Republican billionaire. She is shot in the leg but manages to escape.

Jack is appointed special prosecutor and must call on the Texas DPS SWAT team to track Van Zandt and attack The Alamo Defenders’ compound in a lonely part of West Texas. Van Zandt’s father, founder of the Defenders, is killed in the attack and Miriam is left in a coma. The authorities declare victory and close the case-but Jack knows better. The person behind the Halloween massacre has yet to be caught. When Walt and the protective detail are sued by the fundraiser host and the widow of the dead man, Jack follows the dark money of political contributions from the Cayman Islands to Washington to Eastern Europe, New York and New Orleans to track the real killer and absolve his friend and the Protective Detail of responsibility for the massacre.

Dark Money is a thriller, a mystery and an expose of the corruption of money in politics caused by the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United. 

Dark Money Details:

Genre:  Mystery, Thriller
Published by:   Story Merchant Books
Publication Date: December 8th 2015   
Number of Pages:  430
ISBN: 0996990801 (ISBN13: 9780996990806)  
Series: A Jackson Bryant Legal Thriller, 2
Purchase Links: Amazon  Goodreads

Read an excerpt of Dark Money:

The convoy of three troop trucks made its way through the northeastern part of Saudi Arabia on their way to join up with other American troops in Dhahran. Jack Bryant, a lawyer from Texas who was called up from his practice in Beaumont, was riding shotgun in the front truck. He was a sergeant and the senior NCO in the convoy. They passed through several villages deserted or nearly so out of fear of the rapidly moving Iraq army. The convoy approached another village, apparently abandoned, when Jack raised his hand.

“Stop. I saw a glint of metal in a balcony about a hundred yards ahead on the right, and then it disappeared. I’m getting out my side and will use the door as a shield. Open your door as quietly as possible. Go back to the men and tell them to maintain complete silence. I don’t even want to hear the click of a cigarette lighter until I signal.”

Seconds turned into minutes. Jack continued to focus on the balcony. After twenty minutes the driver was thinking that his sergeant must have been imagining something when a head slowly surfaced above the wall on the balcony. Jack waited until he could see the mouth and fired one round, striking the Iraq sniper directly between the eyes. The enemy soldier dropped from sight.

Bryant climbed back into his seat and told his driver they could now move out.

“You sure, Sarge? Could be you only wounded him.”

“Trust me. I don’t miss from this distance. He’s dead. Let’s get going. I hope we’ll still have a little light when we get to the barracks.”

Author Bio:

Larry D. Thompson | Author

Larry D. Thompson is a veteran trial lawyer and has drawn on decades of experience in the courtroom to produce riveting legal thrillers. 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.

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Book 236: THE INSANITY PLEA Review

The Insanity Plea by Larry D. Thompson
ISBN: 9780989715478 (paperback)
ASIN: B00K60LZE4 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: May 4, 2014
Publisher: The Story Merchant

A young nurse is savagely killed during a pre-dawn run on Galveston’s seawall. The murderer slices her running shorts from her body as his trophy and tosses the body over the wall to the rocks below. As dawn breaks, a bedraggled street person, wearing four layers of old, tattered clothes, emerges from the end of the jetty, waving his arms and talking to people only he hears. He trips over the body, checks for a pulse and, instead, finds a diamond bracelet which he puts in his pocket. He hurries across the street, heading for breakfast at the Salvation Army two blocks away, leaving his footprints in blood as he goes. 

Wayne Little, former Galveston prosecutor and now Houston trial lawyer, learns that his older brother has been charged with capital murder for the killing. At first he refuses to be dragged back into his brother’s life. Once a brilliant lawyer, Dan’s paranoid schizophrenia had captured his mind, estranging everyone including Wayne. Finally giving in to pleas from his mother, Wayne enlists the help of his best friend, Duke Romack, former NBA star turned criminal lawyer. When Wayne and Duke review the evidence, they conclude that Dan’s chances are slim. They either find the killer or win a plea of insanity since the prosecution’s case is air tight. The former may be a mission impossible since the killer is the most brilliant, devious and cruel fictional murderer since Hannibal Lecter. The chances of winning an insanity plea are equally grim. 

It will take the combined skills of the two lawyers along with those of Duke’s girlfriend, Claudia, a brilliant appellate lawyer, and Rita Contreras, Wayne’s next door neighbor and computer hacker extraordinaire, to attempt to unravel the mystery of the serial killer before the clock clicks down to a guilty verdict for Dan. 

The Insanity Plea is a spell-binding tale of four amateur sleuths who must find, track and trap a serial killer as they prepare for and defend Wayne brother who is trapped in a mind like that of John Nash, Russell Crowe’s character in A Beautiful Mind

Combining legal thriller with tracking a serial killer, Thompson once again takes the reader on a helluva ride, right up to the last page and sentence. 

Dan Little is a paranoid schizophrenic living on the streets. He used to have a wonderful career as a lawyer, had a loving wife, and a supportive family. He’s now divorced, homeless, self-medicates with alcohol, constantly hears voices, and no longer has any contact with his mother or brother. When Dan stumbles across a body on the seawall in Galveston and steals a bracelet from the body, he is arrested for the murder. His younger brother Wayne Little, an up-and-coming attorney in Houston hears the news he vows to remain dissociated with his brother until he discusses the issue with his friends, Duke, Claudia, and Rita. Once Wayne begins to look into the case, he realizes that his brother, if guilty, should not be held accountable due to his mental illness. With the help of Duke and Claudia, fellow attorneys, and computer investigator Rita, Wayne quickly comes to realize that the only hope for his brother is a plea of not guilty by reason of mental defect or the infamous insanity plea. What Wayne quickly finds out is the insanity plea in the state of Texas may not be a valid defense even with years of documentation proving mental illness. Will Wayne and his friends be able to research the senseless killing in Galveston and link it to other killings around the United States and Mexico before it’s too late?

I found The Insanity Plea to be a quick and enjoyable read. Part legal thriller and part psychological thriller, this story spotlights the problem with the mental health system in our country as well as the lack of uniformity in the use of the insanity plea. Dan’s mental illness is shown without any apologies. It shows how disturbing and destructive some mental illnesses can be on the friends and family as well as the individual. This isn’t a mystery because you know who the murderer is throughout the book, but reading about the murders and the rationale for them by the murderer was just as interesting as reading about Dan’s struggles with his disease. There are good guys and bad guys in this story (read the book to find out who the bad guy is . . . he wears the perfect disguise). All of the characters and scenarios I found to be wholly realistic. Mr. Thompson has crafted a story that kept me turning the page simply to find out what happens next (I love that in a thriller). Although there are obvious shades of grey in the legal system, The Insanity Plea, does an admirable job in showing that some of these gradations are insensible. If you enjoy reading legal thrillers, psychological thrillers, or just plan thrillers, you’ll definitely want to add The Insanity Plea to your TBR list. The Insanity Plea is the latest thriller by Mr. Thompson; I look forward to reading his previous books and hope to see more from him in the future.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from Partners In Crime Tours. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated 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: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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