The Insanity Plea by Larry D. Thompson
Published by Story Merchant
Publication Date: May 4, 2014
Review Copy from: Author/PICT
Edition: ARC My Rating: 5
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.
My Thoughts and Opinion:
Since I started blogging/reviewing over the past 5+ years, I have stated on many occasions, how skeptical I am when I start to read the 2nd novel by an author. Especially if I rated the author’s debut book, in this case Dead Peasants, a 5 star. Did this particular writer do it again?
Mr. Thompson pulled me in within the first few pages. But what really surprised me was that this book was so different. Very early on, the reader knew who the villain was, whereas in Dead Peasants, the race was finding “who done it”. One similar aspect, however, was that both books enlightened readers to legal issues but not with a lot of legalese. What a “dead peasant” really meant and how “the insanity plea” is different in each state in this country and how mental illness still carries a stigma to this day.
The reader is first introduced to the Little brothers, Dan and Wayne. Both lawyers but each dealt very, very different cards in the game of life. Then more of the cast enters, Sarah Little, the mother, three friends of Wayne’s who are aka “The Posse”, and Dr. Parke, a very distinguished psychiatrist who specializes in “serial killers” and who, for a hefty fee, will sway his testimony for those who hire him.
And it seems there is a serial killer on the loose and killing in different states. And in Texas, where Debbie Robinson is found dead, Dan Little is arrested for her murder. Could he have killed others?
The cast believable. The setting, so descriptive, I could vividly visualize “The Posse” sitting on Sarah’s front porch after a day in court. Or Rita, a member of The Posse” taking her morning jog that fateful day.
This was another page turner by Mr. Thompson!! By Chapter 50, my heart was racing. And as the trial got underway, it was an adrenaline pumping read!!! Highly recommend!
Bravo Mr. Thompson!! You absolutely did do it again!! I can’t wait for your next novel.
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