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KILLING PLATO (The Jack Shepherd International Crime Novels Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Jake Needham
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99

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Book Description

“Needham’s provocative views about Asian culture jump at you from almost every page. The gritty and taut KILLING PLATO is 100% unadulterated attitude.” —The Singapore Straits Times

Jack Shepherd is a politically connected American lawyer until, on a whim largely inexplicable even to him, he trades the fierce scheming of Washington for the quiet life in Bangkok. Everything goes pretty well for Shepherd in Thailand, at least it does until the day he walks into a bar on the jet-set island of Phuket and finds the world’s most famous fugitive waiting for him.

Plato Karsarkis is an international celebrity straight out of the pages of Vanity Fair, but then a New York grand jury indicts him for smuggling Iraqi oil and charges him with racketeering and money laundering. There is also the matter of a woman he may or may not have murdered to cover it all up. When Karsarkis flees the United States and disappears, the world’s media whips itself into a frenzy.

Karsarkis is waiting for Shepherd in that Phuket bar because he needs to hire him. He wants a presidential pardon so he can return to America and he knows Shepherd’s connections to the White House might just get it for him. But the U.S. Marshals are in Phuket, too. And they’re there to kidnap Karsarkis and drag him back to the US to face trial. The Marshals want Shepherd to help them set a trap for Karsarkis.

Shepherd just wants everybody to go away and leave him alone. At least he does until he learns a chilling secret, one that plunges him a violent spiral of friendship and betrayal and pulls him straight back into the life he thought he had left behind in Washington.

The Marshals aren’t really in Phuket to arrest Plato Karsarkis.

They’re there to kill him.

Editorial Reviews


"Speed and murder aren't the only way to hold a reader's interest. Another is the employment of brisk writing and interesting characters. Jake Needham's Jack Shepherd novels fall into that category. The series has a first- person narrator who is cool, funny, and good company." -- Glenn Harper, 'International Noir Fiction'

"KILLING PLATO Is a fast-paced and intellectually stimulating trip through Thailand's spook culture. Needham has forged a powerfully sardonic portrayal of an business professor whose marriage is on the rocks and who is suddenly faced with an impossible series of choices, none of which is attractive."  - Thai Oasis

"Thrillers written with a wry sense of irony in the mean-streets, fast-car, tough-talk tradition of Elmore Leonard. Needham has found acclaim as one of the best-selling English-language writers in Asia." - The Edge (Singapore)

About the Author

JAKE NEEDHAM is an American screen and television writer who began writing legal and spy thrillers when he realized he didn't really like movies and television very much.

Mr. Needham has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand for nearly twenty-five years. He is a lawyer by education and has held a number of significant positions in both the public and private sectors where he took part in a lengthy list of international operations he has absolutely no intention of telling you anything about. He, his wife, and their two sons now divide their time between homes in Bangkok and New York.

You can learn more about Jake Needham at his official website:

Product Details

  • File Size: 2550 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Half Penny Ltd (Hong Kong); 2 edition (January 16, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,198 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
By Jason
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the 2nd Jack Shepherd book from Jake Needham... the first being Laundry Man. I read the previous couple of reviews and really think they miss the mark. Possibly because the reviewers really don't understand Thailand... where corruption & buddhism form a very unique blend. Without a trace of negativism that one "could" use to paint the agendas that SE Asian governments and other regional figures of power tend to follow, the author offers insight into Thailand as it really might be "behind the scenes." Thailand is an enigma - keep peeling of the layers of the onion to try to really understand what motivates and angers its people. It is a contrast of great civility & ruthlessness, of simplicity & complexity, of national ideals pitted against private greed...of the struggles between rich & poor - and always all with a smile thrown in. Its not what you read in travel books or find on a 2 wk vacation! Tolstoy Jake Needham is not. But his books read very well - I would compare him to someone like Dan Brown - he offers an alternative look at what lies beneath the pale cast of political correctness in a light yet compelling manner. Is it an 100% accurate portrayal of life in the Land of Smiles? Maybe yes, maybe no. That's what makes Bangkok a fascinating city... no one really knows what the inner most core of the onion is - certainly not the Thais! Congrats to the author for stepping up to the plate and hitting a home run for those who want to know that there is more than temples and beaches to Thailand! Can't wait for the 3rd Jack Shepherd book due out next year! Any expat who has lived a number of years in Asia will love these books - and for the 20 million or so tourists that arrive here each year - read these books and you will never look at those armoured BMWs parked in front of your favourite Bangkok restaurant the same way again! I recommend however starting with Laundry Man first.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Killing Plato' a Top Shelf Thriller December 12, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
If you haven't read Jake Needham, you're missing a sophisticated take on Asian Intrigue that provides rich satisfaction on several levels.
Needham, an American living in Asia, has written several excellent novels situated in Southeast Asia; all first rate, all riveting, richly scented noirish tales of life in this vastly complex--and at times profoundly conflicted--region of the world. 'Killing Plato' is Needham's second Jack Shepherd novel, and his most complex and geographically detailed. Needham's range in prose is wide; characters are forced to make tough choices, confront the paradoxes of life in Thailand and Southeast Asia, and his sense of how Americans perceive this region and the way Asians react to the American presence is plot-driven yet realistic.
'Killing Plato' brings all these forces together in a tough tale of sell-outs, back channels and betrayal.
Jake Needham's Jack Shepherd is the fictional character you'd want to have dinner with, have a brandy with on the veranda, go to war with, the kind of character you'd hope would look after your wife and family should you end up going down to the nefarious forces at work in 'Killing Plato'. Jack Shepherd is the modern noir-hero who knows his way around town, where the heat might be too hot in a go-go bar in Soi Cowboy, and the guy you call when it all goes downhill. A man's man, the guy who could carry a gun but rarely does, a man whose wits are as lethal as most weapons, and as an American living in Bangkok, Thailand, a guy you can trust.
'Killing Plato' puts Shepherd on the map as an understated, sophisticated narrator-hero that can untangle the most complex of problems.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The ending could have been better December 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I picked this book up during a free promotion period. It is a long book with excellent characters. The plot is thick and takes you on a ride filled with mystery and suspense. However, it is not a "legal" thriller despite what is written on the cover. Just because the main character is a lawyer that does not make the book a legal thriller. Thriller, yes. Legal, no. But that's just a minor point. I wanted to give this book a rating of 4 or 5 stars but the ending to the book falls flat. The rest of this review might contain minor spoilers.

First of all, this book could use a professional edit. There are several instances of misspelled words, missing words, extra words, etc.

Second, is the problem with the characters in the book. Even though the author goes to great lengths to develop the characters, the main character, Jack, never does anything except go from one meal or drink to the next having long conversations with his different adversaries. He never makes any decisions, never takes any actions and basically lets the plot unfold around him. Jack watches his life happen and never does anything about it. Jack's wife, Anita, is another non-character. It's clear she disdains her husband (possible spoiler alert) and she eventually leaves him. In the back of my mind I kept thinking she would come back into the story in some kind of surprise twist, but no, she never does -- she just leaves and she's gone -- that's it. Ultimately, her character was completely useless and she never needed to exist in the first place. That same point could be made about Jack. His only reason for being in the story at all is to perhaps tell the story itself, which brings me to my third and last point.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my kind of story
Jack Shepherd is back, and is caught up in a story that just isn't making any sense to him. He wants to do the *right thing*, and we can share in his bewilderment while he tries... Read more
Published 9 days ago by lurker
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
The story was great for a while, then it went into a tailspin. During its spiral to the ground, I was left wondering how a man like Jack could keep spewing out witty remarks when... Read more
Published 12 days ago by theweed
5.0 out of 5 stars Electrifying
This book was as electrifying as Laundry Man ever was and might even be better at some points. Certainly, I would never say that Killing Plato is the better book hands down. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bertie:)
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story and Plot
Killing Plato is the first of Jake Needham's books I've read, but it won't be the last. He has great detail in his writing that helps to flesh out the characters and scenery,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jake
4.0 out of 5 stars Wish it had ended differently
When you suddenly become the popular person to people on both sides of an issue it is generally a good time to start worrying. Read more
Published 4 months ago by c9cREVIEWS
4.0 out of 5 stars Trust the Government?
I have read and enjoyed Jake Needham's two Thai Inspector Tay novels, THE UMBRELLA MAN: An Inspector Samuel Tay novel and THE AMBASSADOR'S WIFE: An Inspector Samuel Tay novel and... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Gary Severance
5.0 out of 5 stars A Reality check for us all!
Almost too realistic in light of our past history in the latter half of the last century. Love the main character's sarcastic up-in-your-face responses to others who try to... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read for Jack Shepherd fans
Have visited Thailand -- including Phuket -- a number of times, I find the JS series fascinating. It presents a good image of the Thailand that I experienced personally. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Edward Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars good book.
Enjoyed the quick pace. Would have liked a different ending, but very true life like. I would recommend the book.
Published 8 months ago by Peter Mahler
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid effort.
Overall, a well-written crime novel in an interesting setting and culture. I like Needham's novels. This isn't the best of his work, but it was a pleasurable read on a dark and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Greg
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More About the Author

JAKE NEEDHAM is an American screen and television writer who began writing crime novels and legal thrillers when he realized he really didn't like movies and television very much.

He is a lawyer by education and held a number of significant positions in both the public and private sectors where he took part in a lengthy list of international operations he has absolutely no intention of telling you about. Then, somehow, he became a screenwriter following a series of accidents and coincidences too ridiculous to be believed.

Mr. Needham has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand for over twenty-five years. He, his wife, and their two sons now divide their time between homes in Thailand and the United States.

You can read excerpts from all Jake Needham's books as well as his occasional 'Letters from Asia' at his web site:


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