Monday, April 11, 2016

Interview with Jack Bryant, Character from 'Dark Money'

We’re thrilled to be talking to Jack Bryant from Larry D. Thompson’s Dark Money.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Jack.  How old are you and what do you do for a living?

First, let me thank you for allowing me to be on your show. I am fifty-two. I have been a trial lawyer my entire professional life, except for two stints in the army. I made a lot of money as a plaintiff lawyer in Beaumont Texas. When my son left the Marines, he decided to walk on the TCU football team in Fort Worth, my old home town. I retired from the practice in Beaumont and bought a mansion in Fort Worth, but quickly became bored and started doing pro bono work on North Main, an area where very few people can afford a lawyer.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?

I suppose it would be that I always carry a cane. I was called back up in Desert Storm just after I started my law career. A metal beam fell on my leg after a Scud missile crashed into our barracks. I wouldn’t let them amputate; so, I still have two legs.  Usually I get by without the cane, but once in a while that knee gives out for no damn reason. If I didn’t have the cane, I would fall on my butt. It’s also a useful weapon on occasion.

What would I love the most about you?

Probably the fact that I help out poor folks for free. Call it my payback or whatever you like. I have more money than I can ever spend. So, I enjoy helping out those who can’t afford a lawyer. I office in an RV out on North Main. There’s a cardboard sign in the front window, “Lawyer, No Fee.” And, by the way, that pro bono work leads into some very interesting dilemmas that have from time to time put me in some dangerous situations.

What would I hate the most about you?

Good trial lawyers are egotistical by nature. If you don’t have a big ego, you shouldn’t step foot in the courtroom and expect to win. I try to temper my ego now that I am semi-retired, but it still sneaks out at the most inexplicable times.

Where do you go when you are angry?

Among my vehicles is a paddle shift Ferrari. When I’m angry, I take it out of the garage and head west out of Fort Worth on back roads. I pretend I’m a race car driver and concentrate on making the curves at top speed and then opening it up when I see a stretch of open road. Concentrating on my driving releases my anger.

What is your most treasured possession?
I’ve accumulated a bunch of vehicles over the years, everything from Harleys, Bentleys, Ferraris, you name it. Still, the one I drive the most is an old, red Dodge Ram pickup that another plaintiff lawyer gave me after we won a big lawsuit over in East Texas.

What is the trait you most not like about yourself?

I hate to lose at anything, particularly at the courthouse. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I tend to sulk for several days until I can put the loss behind me.

Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?

I’m not a loner, but I would say I only have a few close friends. Once I’ve made a friend, we’re connected for life. For example, in DARK MONEY, Joe Shannon is the Tarrant County District Attorney, a friend since high school. Then there’s Walt Frazier. I met him in Desert Storm. In fact, he probably saved my leg. We may go for two or three years and never see each other and then pick up like we just had a beer yesterday,

Who is your best friend? 

Actually, there are two:  My son, J.D. who was an All American tight end at TCU and just signed to play with the Cowboys and my fiancé’, Colby. Colby and I have lived together for a while and we plan to marry soon.

What’s your idea of a perfect meal? 

Give me spaghetti, meat sauce, a big salad and German chocolate cake. That makes me a happy man.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?

Toss a football with my son and sit out on the back lawn of my house that overlooks the Trinity River with Colby and a good glass of wine.

About the Author

Larry 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.
For More Information
About the Book:

Title: DARK MONEY           
Author: Larry D. Thompson
Publisher: Story Merchant Books
Pages: 420
Genre: Legal Thriller

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 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 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.

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