Thompson says he was inspired to write “Dead Peasants” after he read a newspaper article about a Texas widow who discovered her late husband’s employer had taken out a large insurance policy on him, payable to the employer, without the man’s knowledge.
“Once I had the idea, it didn’t take me long to come up with the story,” says Thompson, a member in Lorance & Thompson in Houston.
In “Dead Peasants,” published by St. Martin’s Press earlier this month, retired plaintiff’s attorney Jackson Bryant takes on a pro bono case representing a widow who received a check in the mail from a life insurance company — a check made payable to her late husband’s employer. Bryant files a civil suit to collect insurance benefits due to the woman, but Bryant and his love interest in the book become targets in a murder plot.
"Dead Peasants" is Thompson’s third novel; he wrote the first eight years ago.
He says he writes four to five hours each weekend and a couple of hours each morning if he’s not in trial.
“I still try a lot of lawsuits, so I get interrupted,” says Thompson, who notes he’s written 65,000 words of his next novel but has been sidetracked lately by a suit he’s working on in Austin.
Thompson says that novel is a medical-malpractice thriller, but he may write another book featuring Jack Bryant in the future.
Thompson says his inspiration to write came from his late brother, Tommy Thompson, author of “Blood and Money,” a 1976 true crime novel about the 1969 death of Houston socialite Joan Robinson.
— Brenda Sapino Jeffreys