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Laundry Man (Jack Shepherd #1)

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  313 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Once a high-flying international lawyer, a member of the innermost circles of government power, Jack Shepherd has abandoned the savage politics of Washington for the lethargic backwater of Bangkok, where he is now just an unremarkable professor at an unimportant university in an insignificant city. Or is he?

A secretive Asian bank collapses under dubious circumstances. A fo
Paperback, 352 pages
Published 2012 by Marshall Cavendish Editions (first published January 1st 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 958)
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Jaye Rothman
Mar 16, 2015 Jaye Rothman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the story, it was a complicated financial plot set in Bangkok.
There was an absence of a good strong female character - Jack's girlfriend seemed to spend all her time at her studio or asleep.
Jan 17, 2012 Gemma rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
I really enjoyed this, and read it in just 2 days - it was really exciting and each chapter left you really wanting to find out more.
I liked that the main character Jack was just a normal bloke, he wasn't changed in to a super human hero trying to catch the 'baddies' like what sometimes tends to happen in this kind of book.
I loved all the descriptions of Bangkok, you can really build up a good picture in your head throughout the whole. Some of the descriptions of people and places are quite fu
Aug 04, 2014 Cateline rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Laundry Man by Jake Needham 2.5/5

A phone call from a dead man starts Jake Shepherd on a treacherous course of death and deception that could lead to his own demise. Shepherd, a lawyer that doesn't practice any longer and teaches at a Bangkok University is drawn into an intrigue that he really isn't too interested in following up on. But when people start to die around him, leading him to believe he could easily be next he has to become more involved.

I wish I could say this was riveting. It wasn
Luculle Stols - BookFezt
Laundry Man was not an easy read to get into. Jack Shepherd the main character describes Bangkok at length. At times it feels as if you are reading a tour guide’s impression of the city. Reading the book on my Kindle, 30% into the story, I was ready to abandon ship. However I gave the author and his hard work the benefit of the doubt and pushed on, finally about half way through it picked up momentum and things started to get interesting. The second half of the read was action packed and enjoyab ...more
Kurt Taylor
Aug 07, 2014 Kurt Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE LAUNDRY MAN, by Jake Needham, is a first rate intrigue-thriller set in Bangkok and the first in the Jack Shepherd series based in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Needham captures the setting in a way only someone living there or having spent considerable time there can. THE LAUNDRY MAN pounds with steam heat and neon as Shepherd covers exotic streets and alleys, bars, cafes and restaurants and up to Hong Kong for a quick meeting and a ferry across the harbor.
Shepherd, wise to the ways of Far E
Jan 13, 2012 Michael rated it liked it
A book that takes place in Thailand, but isn't even tangentially about the sex trade? Sign me up!

This is a pretty good story about money laundering. The supporting cast blends together, and the protagonist makes some bizarre choices to further the plot, but it's competently executed. Good atmosphere, pretty good dialog.

Definitely up my alley, and a series I'll continue with.
Bill Thibadeau
Nov 02, 2014 Bill Thibadeau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as a freebie in exchange for an honest review.

This was my first Jack Shepherd novel. I have read other books set in Thailand and generally find them interesting. This book was no different in that regard.

Initially, I found this novel to be confusing. That was due to the financial nuances and that most characters had at least two names. I like to give an author the benefit of the doubt. So I pushed on and am glad that I did. I soon found myself really intrigues and unable to
Harvey Glk
Sep 20, 2014 Harvey Glk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up at the last minute in need of a book for a 14 hour plane ride. I had low expectations and thought this would be a 2nd rate thriller set in Bangkok. Surprise surprise! Needham has produced an excellent murder mystery that is fast, edgy, intelligent and an all around great read. The details of the money laundering scams seemed well researched and totally believable, as did most of the characters. I would recommend this to lovers of the genre and I am looking forward to reading the ...more
M.H. Vesseur
LAUNDRY MAN HITS LIKE A FIST - Needham creates a world of his own in crime fiction. Imagine a man standing in the Bangkok night, listening to the thunder in the distance and a young girl’s voice singing a sad love song, while puffing a Montecristo. “The storm hit like a fist,” he writes. It’s that combination of being in a strange city and powerful sentences that give “Laundry Man” a strenght that comes on top of the story. Like some extra ingredient to make sure the crime story doesn’t become s ...more
Jason Beech
Oct 18, 2013 Jason Beech rated it liked it
Jack Shepherd gets woken in the middle of the night by a man murdered some time ago. Jack’s disbelief gets all shook up by Barry Gates’ knowledge of minute details, forcing Jack to arrange a meeting. They meet, Jack recognises him, and is thus pulled into Barry’s dodgy world, looking for missing millions from a shady international bank that has connections to the Russian mob, corrupt Chinese officials, and maybe organisations closer to home.

So ends Jack’s comfortable existence as a university le
Scott Whitmore
Jul 01, 2013 Scott Whitmore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When a man supposedly dead by suicide years earlier calls you at 2 am, it’s a safe bet your life is going to get very interesting. Considering the dead man calling you at 2 am died in a most un-“self-inflicted” fashion while auditing a bank used by Russian mobsters to launder money … well, your life is going to get very, very interesting.

Such is the opening for Laundry Man (A Jack Shepherd crime novel) by Jake Needham (@JakeNeedham), a thriller set mostly in Bangkok, a city that is “part Miami a
Sean O'Reilly
Sep 01, 2013 Sean O'Reilly rated it it was ok
Shelves: e-books
I picked this up as a free e-book through KindOfBook and I'm afraid that I will not be investigating the rest of the Jack Shepherd series.

To be fair there are some good points, in particular the scene setting which carried a level of detail which was quite immersive without becoming intrusive on the flow of the story. Although I haven't visited the places where this story is set I am quite happy to believe those who have said that the descriptions of the locales are spot on.

The first negative wh
Carl R.
Aug 20, 2012 Carl R. rated it really liked it
So, here I was, having just finished my first Jake Needham--The Ambassador’s Wife--and not quite satisfied had to go for another. Thus, The Laundry Man. Not Detective Sam Tay of Singapore this time, but “retired” international financier Jack Shepherd, now a professor at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. He gets a call from a (supposedly) dead man to open the book, and away we go.
Shepherd is a very different character from the socially challenged Sam Tay. He’s gregarious, athletic, has a go
Byron Edgington
Dec 03, 2013 Byron Edgington rated it liked it
Here we have a tale of mystery, intrigue, bad guys and good guys (hard to tell who’s who-even our protagonist doesn’t know) combined with a travelogue of sorts of Bangkok Thailand, one of the more urbane yet mysterious cities in Asia. It’s difficult to wade through the various plot possibilities, characters, rabbit trails and intrigues. Plot driven, and as windy and twisty as a Bangkok Soi at rush hour, this story resolves itself in the very last pages--if it does even then.
Jack Shepherd lives i
May 05, 2012 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the first in the Jack Shepherd series, of which there are currently three titles. Our hero is an American ex-pat living in Bangkok with his artist girlfriend, teaching at a small university, and trying to forge his previous life as a lawyer in the US.

When a dead friend reappears with a beautiful bodyguard everything is about to change. Everyone seems to think he is involved in the disappearance of millions of dollars. Everyone except Jack, who finds that as the days pass he is drawn
Aug 03, 2014 Janine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jack Shepherd had a high flying job but gave it up and took a job as a lecturer in Asia.

Out of the blue he gets a fone call from a blast from the past but he was supposed to be dead.

He has no idea why he’s come back and contacted him but his interest is piqued to find out why. He keeps getting warned off but will he back off? Of course not which leads him into the mix with people been killed, warning and financial scams.

Great story with great characters.
R.A. Niles
Aug 29, 2014 R.A. Niles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jake Needham take us to back streets of Bangkok to the point where I feel I could give directions to locals.

But what does he even better is bringing characters to life. Some books - many good ones put us in a position of watching a movie through the pages. Needham takes us into the movie. Reading " The Laundryman", I became an invisible character. Jack Shepherd now seems like an old friend.
Craig Hurren
Jul 26, 2013 Craig Hurren rated it it was amazing
For me, Jake Needham's "Laundry Man" is reminiscent of the great Raymond Chandler's style. I really enjoyed the first person narrative, which evoked memories of Robert Mitchum's entrancing narration in the 1978 remake of the classic movie "The Big Sleep". Of course Mr. Needham's novel is an original work but I love the way he used this style. I was a little concerned that I might not be able to come to grips with the international finance aspects but he made them clear and understandable. The pr ...more
Sep 02, 2013 Max rated it really liked it
I finally finished reading Laundry Man. To be honest, I never really read much into the mystery/crime/thriller genre so I was unsure of what to expect. In spite of this, I kept an open mind.

Set in Thailand, Jack Shepard is a college professor going about his daily business until he gets embroiled in a big plot involving mobsters, China, and lots of dirty money. Sounds simple? It isn't. The plot is quite intricate and keep taking many twists throughout the story. This doesn't detract from the wor
Peter Gregoire
Jun 06, 2013 Peter Gregoire rated it it was amazing
In any great thriller, the setting is all important and in the Laundry Man, Jake Needham gives us a real sense of place. Bangkok comes alive. In Needham's hands the city is almost a character in its own right. He really captures its essence, its relaxed vibe coupled with the noire that lurks just beneath its surface and weaves it inextricably with the plot.

Then there's the premise, which is so wonderful. A bank which is a money laundering vehicle for backhanders that grease the wheels of governm
Daniel Ace
May 27, 2015 Daniel Ace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Normally finance and thrillers haven't been a good mix to me but this was my first Jake Needham read and I really enjoyed it! He's a true resident expat of Thailand and that adds such great flavor in his writing.
Jeff Wetherington
Interesting plot, exotic settings, good storytelling and interesting characters. Jake Needham's "Laundry Man" has it all and in great abundance. Highly recommended if you like your action stories served up with intelligence and wit.
Jun 18, 2014 Cyndi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was good but a little drawn out for my taste. It seemed to take a long time for the things that were happening to make sense.
Nov 26, 2014 Roger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Too many names... but the main character and story kept me going. Enjoyable even if I lost track of characters.
Aug 04, 2014 Muriel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Great book ,read over two days
Rashad Pharaon
May 28, 2012 Rashad Pharaon rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Geoff Woodland
Aug 02, 2013 Geoff Woodland rated it really liked it
I came across this book just before I was about to visit Bangkok so decided to 'give it a go', as the book was Bangkok & Thailand based. I am glad I did as it was a very good read and one could feel the heat and the atmosphere of Thailand in the story. The author captured the feel of the country and of the people with a our hero being a detective, although his profession is in the financial field. Being the hero and the victim at the same time made for an entertaining read. Recommended.
This book was a little choppy for my taste. The story itself was good, but there were A LOT of characters to remember.
My one big complaint was that the whole story focuses around Jack and a bank conspiracy where there are all kinds of bad guys and good guys mixed up. Jack knows this, yet keeps telling the whole story to various people with very little discretion. I feel like he was just asking to be killed, kidnapped, or worse. Use some discretion man!
Jul 18, 2014 Jack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
was okay. world of trouble was better
Todd N
Dec 13, 2012 Todd N rated it liked it
I found Jake Needham when he started following me on twitter, and decided to give his books a try because they are cheap: Kindle books for less than $3! This one is set mostly in Bangkok, which interested me since I’ve been there. I got lost a little bit in all the international finance nitty gritty stuff (which Needham understands but I don’t), but enjoyed the story and the building suspense that ended very satisfactorily.
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JAKE NEEDHAM is an American screen and television writer who began writing crime novels when he realized he didn’t really like movies and television very much.

He is a lawyer by education. Prior to becoming a screenwriter through a series of accidents too ridiculous to be believed, he held a number of significant positions in both the pubic and private sectors where he took part in a lengthy list
More about Jake Needham...

Other Books in the Series

Jack Shepherd (4 books)
  • Killing Plato (Jack Shepherd #2)
  • A World of Trouble (Jack Shepherd #3)
  • The King of Macau (Jack Shepherd #4)

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