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Laundry Man (Jack Shepherd #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  756 Ratings  ·  72 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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Barry Mallin Finished and really enjoyed the book, It helps if you've lived in the far east.
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Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Definitely not for female readers and retired.

After reading about 50 pages almost stopped, I was as confused as Jack Shepherd. This character should know better but with slow and detailed descriptions keeps going on and on. Ending comes with big fizzle, like author got tired of writing.
Rebecca McNutt
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
When I first saw the title "The Laundry Man", it had me thinking back to Stephen King's The Mangler. So, just out of curiosity, I ordered a copy. It turns out it's a crime novel, and a very amazing one at that. Riveting, thrilling, suspenseful, The Laundry Man is definitely a great novel.
Toni Osborne
Book #1, in the Jack Shepherd crime novel series

The backdrop in this first installment is the vibrant city of Bangkok where we will follow Jack Shepherd who has given up a high-profile job in a DC law firm to take a post as a teacher at Chulalongkorn University. But life is not tranquil for Jack and takes a turn when an ex-colleague supposedly dead for some time calls in the middle of the night, scared out of his wits and desperately wanting to meet him….the laundry man is off and running and th
Aug 04, 2014 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
May 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a long book, but it felt that way. It was tedious and filled with inconsequential details which added nothing to the story but only proved that the author knows something about Bangkok. There are more books in this series and I will surely not begin them as I was glad to finally finish this one. The story plods along and the plot is simply incongruous. Find something else to read - anything else to read.
Anne Hill

Still not sure if I understand the plot of the book. Cardboard characters, taken out of conspiracy movies, strung together with little dialogue or background. Will try the next book to give the series a fair chance.
Oct 23, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-freebies
FREE on Amazon today (10/23/2017)!
Jaye Rothman
Mar 15, 2015 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 16, 2012 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
Bradley West
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I enjoyed protagonist Jack Shepherd's first person descriptions of life in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Phuket, all of which were spot on. The author Jake Needham knows international banking well enough to write authoritatively about money laundering. Needham also writes well and the action kept coming. I put the book into the border area of "can't put it down," perhaps one step below at "sneak reading a few pages in whenever you can" category.

I gave it 4-stars instead of five, however, on two counts
Jan 13, 2012 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.
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A good mediocre job
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. What has Jack got himself involved in? After leaving Washington where he was a high flying international lawyer, for a relatively quiet life working as a professor in a university in Bangkok, he now finds himself trying to help a former law partner who is in trouble.

We follow Jack as he attempts to unravel problems in the sinister world of money laundering, corruption, not to mention murder. Will he be able to find the answers to the many questions? There is much goi
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This had the premise of being great. It’s along the ‘John Grisham’ wavelength but replace law with finance. If you’re a finance expert or study economics then I’m sure you’ll love it. I am neither and I just couldn’t wade through the long winded glossary-esque financial info. The story, coming in as a second thought to the financial diatribe would have been brilliant. Relatively fast paced with well built characters but I just couldn’t get past the wall of finance that left this book feeling mor ...more
Neil Plakcy
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great descriptions and sense of place-- I felt like the author really knew the area and had the ability to transport me there. Not so excited by the protagonist, who I never could quite get a handle on. He seemed more one-dimensional than some of the bad guys.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quite enjoyed this book, although I would have liked it to be a little faster-paced. The setting in Thailand was interesting, and the author painted quite a good picture of life there. It kept my attention, and I'd read another in the series although I might not try to seek them out specially.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Believable plot and chsracters

The description of places in Thailand was really good. The main character,Jack, was believable and likable. The plot was interesting and realistic.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bangkok setting--and all the characters who inhabit the Big Mango--were perfect. The mystery was also nice and twisty and I liked the main character, an expat economics professor.
Lisa Tollard
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read

This book had so many twists and turns that it kept you hanging but just for a moment. This book had suspense through out to the point I couldn't put it down
Martin Pingree
This was an okay read. Took a long time before the book really got interesting. Liked the characters and story line but really had a tough time hanging in there for the ending.
Good book

You people should just read this book yourselves and write your own review on this novel yourselves. I really enjoyed reading this book very much so. Shelley MA
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just what it sounds like, high finance overseas of a questionable nature. Good details and interesting reading.
Byron Edgington
Dec 03, 2013 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
Scott Whitmore
Jun 12, 2013 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
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not my favorite. The plot was so convoluted I had difficulty following who was a good guy and who wasn't. Since I do not know Bangkok at all, all the driving / walking directions were meaningless and disconcerting. I was determined to finish... just to finally know who was / were the villains. This is more 2.5 stars than 3.
Lorin Cary
Jack Shepard teaches at a business college in Bangkok and because he knows the ins and outs of financial transfers in the international banking world he is plunged, against his desire, into a twisted world. He's approached by a man presumably dead, two acquaintances are killed, Thai police and security people as well as FBI, CIA and, maybe NSA, wonder at his role, and so on. Jack does stupid things and you know that's a setup for more danger. Some interesting twists and never dull, none the less ...more
Jason Beech
Aug 20, 2013 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
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
Sean O'Reilly
Jul 14, 2013 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 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 g
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JAKE NEEDHAM is an American screen and television writer who began writing mysteries and 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 thirty years. He, his wife, and their two sons now divide their time between homes in Thailand and the United States.
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“Oh for God’s sake, Jack, lighten up. You know the old saying. Every man loves the smell of his own farts.” In” 0 likes
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