Dark Money: Interview with Legal Thriller Author Larry D. Thompson

Larry D. ThompsonLarry D. Thompson was first a trial lawyer. He tried more than 300 cases throughout Texas, winning in excess of 95% of them. When his youngest son graduated from college, he decided to write his first novel. Since his mother was an English teacher and his brother, Thomas Thompson, had been a best-selling author, it seemed the natural thing to do.

Larry writes about what he knows best…lawyers, courtrooms and trials. The legal thriller is his genre. DARK MONEY is his fifth story and the second in the Jack Bryant series.

Larry and his wife, Vicki, call Houston home and spend their summers on a mountain top in Vail, Colorado. He has two daughters, two sons and four grandchildren.

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About the Book:

DARK MONEY is a thriller, a mystery and an expose’ of the corruption of money in politics.

Jackson Bryant, the millionaire plaintiff lawyer who turned to pro bono work in Dead Peasants, is caught up in the collision of money Dark Moneyand 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 fund raiser 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 fund raiser 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.

For More Information

  • Dark Money is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Dark Money teaser

What made you decide to become a published author?

It must have been somewhere in my gene pool. I always knew I would be a writer, but practicing as a trial lawyer and raising three children filled up my days for many years. Finally, when my youngest son graduated from SMU, I decided I could find some time to write.

Would you consider your latest book, Dark Money, to be a one of a kind?  How so?

First, I believe nearly all novels are one of a kind. Certainly, no one had written a thriller and mystery about the corruption of money in politics. The story is captivating, but I also want the reader to put down the book after reading the last page and realize that after the Citizens United Opinion from our Supreme Court, political offices are available to the highest bidder. And, sadly, we may not even know who that bidder is.

Where is your writing sanctuary?

I have an office at home where I do most of my writing, but my favorite place is in Vail, Colorado where we spend the summers. We have a house up on a mountaintop with some of the best views in the world. I can sit at the dining room table and witness the grandeur and magnitude of the mountains. The only problem is sometimes I get so distracted with the view that I find I have been watching that magnificent panorama for a half an hour with no word written.

What do you believe a writer should not do as far as getting his or her book published?

For a new author, I think it is a waste of time to seek out an agent or a publisher. The publishers will not consider a book unless it is submitted by an agent and most agents reject new submissions. While I hate to cave in to Amazon, that’s where the readers and the money reside.

What inspires you?

I look for ideas around me, in newspapers, in the media, in a chance conversation, and when I find one I like, I let it simmer in the back of my mind to see if it can become a novel. If it can, I’ll write it.

Why do you love to write thrillers?

I love taking the reader on a roller coaster ride to follow my protagonist as he or she chases the clues to solve a mystery.

You’re concocting a recipe for a best selling book.  What’s the first ingredient?

Always it’s the protagonist. The reader must feel a kinship with him or her. Without that, it may be difficult to hold the reader’s interest to the end of the story.

What’s one fun fact about your book people should know?

I grew up in Fort Worth where Dark Money is set and find it to be a fascinating place.

Did any real life experiences find their way into your book?

They always do. I spent forty years as a trial lawyer. I call on those experiences to tell my tales.

Aside from writing, what’s your passion?

One word: Family

What’s next for you?

I’m going to deviate from what I usually write. My brother was a best selling writer who died way too young in the eighties. His most famous book was Blood and Money, a true story about murders in the rich section of Houston. He was sued for libel three times. I defended him and Doubleday and won all three cases. His story is finally going to be made into a streaming video next year. I’m going to write my part of that story called Blood and Money, The Libel Trials.




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