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KILLING PLATO (The Jack Shepherd International Crime Novels Book 2) by [Needham, Jake]
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Length: 352 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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: 2685 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Half Penny Ltd (Hong Kong); 2 edition (January 16, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 16, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,781 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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