BOBBY WRITES FROM EXPERIENCE

As a criminal defense attorney, prosecutor, judge, and even a prisoner, when it comes to the criminal justice system, there is very little Bobby DeLaughter has not seen. He has been honored as one of Mississippi Magazine’s “Fifteen Great Mississippians;” received The National Judicial College Distinguished Service Award; and in 1999 was the first recipient of the University of Mississippi School of Law Alumni Public Service Award, which was stated as given “in recognition of his devotion to the public good as demonstrated by his record of outstanding public service.”

Combining that experience with an eloquent pen has resulted in some powerful reading.

NEVER TOO LATE

In Never Too Late: A Prosecutor’s Story of Justice in the Medgar Evers Murder Case (Scribner 2001), Bobby—the assistant district attorney portrayed by Alec Baldwin in Rob Reiner’s Ghosts of Mississippi—took readers through his fascinating, real-life journey in bringing to justice the assassin of civil rights pioneer and hero Medgar Evers decades after the murder. Bobby’s closing argument in the trial is one of only ten selected and featured in “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury: Greatest Closing Arguments in Modern Law,” edited by H. Caldwell et al (Scribner 1998). His successful prosecution of the case is included in “Famous Trials: Cases That Made History,” by Frank McLynn (Reader’s Digest 1995), and Never Too Late won the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters 2002 Non-fiction Award. Among readers’ reviews of Never Too Late:

“[A] great read, so compelling I could not put it down…. Mr. DeLaughter is widely described as very private, but in his writing he and his experience are so accessible the reader feels as if s/he is there every step of the way…. [A]n intelligent and inspiring work that should not be missed.” 

“[A]n excellent and poignant book.” 

“Well written and engaging!” 

“DeLaughter, a fluid and powerful writer, takes us deep into the heart of evil….” 

“Vivid words paint a clear picture of…irrational hate….” 

 

INSIDE THE LABYRINTH

Bobby exerts that same vividness, in Inside the Labyrinth: A Bo Landry Thriller, his thrilling debut novel, to paint a clear portrait of a sexual predator serial killer, taking the reader deep into the mind and soul of evil, lust and power. It is a story of good and evil, love and heartache, and not without the occasional well-placed relief of humor. Bobby so skillfully draws readers into his characters’ circumstances, personalities, and aspirations, it is impossible not to become invested in their lives; the victims are not mere statistics or literary props. Bobby heeded Stephen King’s advice to crime authors to “kill your darlings;” and so when they die in Inside the Labyrinth, it becomes the reader’s loss as well.

The journey on which Bobby takes the reader is not merely one from his roots of Jackson, Mississippi to his new home along the narrow streets and alleys of the famous French Quarter of New Orleans, but into a world of darkness that somehow flourishes in the plain sight of light. In the story, as in real life, malevolence is concealed behind many deceptive visages. Within life’s many labyrinths, one never knows what lurks around the next twisted turn.

 

City Named Desire

In the second novel in the Bo Landry series, Bobby challenges himself to write beyond his comfort zone. It's a fast-paced mystery that's not a mere whodunit; it explores religion, romance, and lust. The protagonist, Bo Landry, not only embarks on the trail of a killer, but also one of self-discovery.

PERSONAL

Bobby was born February 28, 1954, in Vicksburg, Mississippi, but grew up in the state’s capital city of Jackson. He secured an undergraduate degree from Ole Miss in 1975 (majors in history and political science, minor in psychology), and graduated from the Ole Miss Law School in 1977. Over a career spanning three decades, Bobby was a criminal defense attorney, prosecutor, and trial judge. His career in law ended in 2009, with a federal conviction of obstruction of justice, for giving a false statement to FBI agents. 

After serving his federal sentence, Bobby and Peggy, his wife of over twenty years, adopted New Orleans, Louisiana as their home. They live in the famous (or infamous) French Quarter, the setting of Bobby’s new series of Bo Landry thrillers.