Read Laundry Man by Jake Needham Online


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 foOnce 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 former law partner Shepherd thought dead reveals himself as the force behind the disgraced bank and coerces Shepherd into helping him track the hundreds of millions of dollars that disappeared in the collapse. A twisting trail of deceit leads Shepherd from Bangkok to Hong Kong and eventually to an isolated villa on the fabled island of Phuket where he confronts the evil at the heart of a monstrous game of international treachery.A lawyer among people who laugh at the law, a friend in a land where today’s allies are tomorrow’s fugitives, Jack Shepherd battles a global tide of corruption, extortion and murder that is fast engulfing the new life he has built for himself in Thailand....

Title : Laundry Man
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789814361279
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Laundry Man Reviews

  • Tulay
    2019-05-15 11:16

    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
    2019-05-17 10:25

    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
    2019-04-29 10:11

    Book #1, in the Jack Shepherd crime novel seriesThe 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 things soon gets interesting…..I definitely was expecting that with a title like “Laundry Man” it should have been all about “cleaning” money, international finances, shady deals and nefarious sorts. I was not disappointed on this point. Although, the story lacked suspense for a good part the novel as it centered on laundering money, bad banks and financial misdeeds, it did picked up a brisk pace as Jack bounced from lead to the next, from one red herring to another stumbling around exploring various contacts, some of them colourful characters, lots of them chichi type whose real occupations were unclear, and some of them turning up dead. ¾ into, the story shifted gears and became an exciting thriller with Jack changing from a banker/professor into a soft version of Jackie Chan…….unfortunately things petered out by the finale. Maybe once again the unsatisfying ending may be a ruse to lure us in pursuing with the series in order to see what is in store for the intrepid protagonist next. Definitely without any doubts and it is working my end……next “The Umbrella Man” is already on my TBR list.The prose is clean, evocative and is infused with a sense of place….maybe a bit too much. The author’s technical details of banking and money laundering is well explained and not overly done to be extremely boring. We have panoply of characters to keep track of, quite a challenge at times to picture who is who and where they fit in, eventually it becomes clear.Overall, a pretty good story

  • Cateline
    2019-05-18 14:31

    Laundry Man by Jake Needham 2.5/5A 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't. It could have been, all the makings were there. But I found Shepherd's naivety to be highly unbelievable given the experience he was supposed to possess. The moves of his enemies were so telegraphed that I could see them a mile off. Strangely, he walked into every trap laid for him. Characters fates were not followed up on, holes in the plot were not plugged.Meh.

  • Barry
    2019-05-04 11:30

    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
    2019-05-01 11:24

    ConfusingStill 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.

  • Coco.V
    2019-05-12 08:25

    FREE on Amazon today (10/23/2017)!

  • Jaye Rothman
    2019-05-05 07:11

    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.

  • Gemma
    2019-04-26 07:13

    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 funny and did make me laugh. My only fault, i did have to read the last page again as it confused me slightly - this is a book I would recommend

  • Bradley West
    2019-05-19 12:17

    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. Quibbles include a plot where things (e.g. approaches by strange people) happened to our hero way more often than his actions made them happen. This is partly the result of a central story line where the protagonist finds himself at the center of everyone else’s attention without actually knowing why, but that wasn’t all of it. The ending also was also less believable than I was hoping for. Still well worth reading and I will certainly pick up another Jake Needham novel in the near future.

  • Michael
    2019-05-02 08:09

    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.

  • Yashar
    2019-05-17 08:12

    A good mediocre job

  • Ann
    2019-05-13 12:35

    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 going on with plenty of twists and turns. This is a fascinating insight into a world most of us know nothing about. With a nice touch of humour too, this is a very good read.

  • Samantha
    2019-04-23 12:31

    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 more like a university textbook.

  • Neil Plakcy
    2019-05-04 10:30

    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.

  • Soozee
    2019-04-30 09:34

    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.

  • Belinda
    2019-05-13 13:36

    Believable plot and chsractersThe description of places in Thailand was really good. The main character,Jack, was believable and likable. The plot was interesting and realistic.

  • Beth
    2019-04-22 11:10

    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
    2019-05-13 09:29

    Great ReadThis 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
    2019-04-29 09:13

    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.

  • Michelle
    2019-05-06 15:16

    Good bookYou 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

  • Kathy
    2019-05-19 11:20

    Just what it sounds like, high finance overseas of a questionable nature. Good details and interesting reading.

  • Byron Edgington
    2019-04-28 10:13

    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 in Thailand by choice, to escape the hectic, dog-eating, frantic and delirious life of a DC attorney. Where does he end up? In a place that is arguably more riven with the frantic and shadowy cast of characters he left behind. Jack’s answering machine (remember those?) starts us off, a message from a... wait for it… long dead acquaintance, wishing to meet with Jack about some kind of $$$ deal. The $$$ deal involves an entity titled Asian Bank of Commerce. ABC is a mysterious holding company, inside a puzzling financial organization wrapped up in an enigmatic cash depository. The tantalizing scent starts Jack’s investigative juices flowing, placing him with assorted characters named Just John, Jello, Manny Mango, Phony Frank and Dollar Dunne. A ton of $$$ has simply vanished, it seems. Whose $$$ is it? And how did it arrive at ABC? And most important to the plot, who has it now, since it seems to have disappeared? Jack meets with people at the school where he’s employed, folks from his past life, underworldly types he knows not to trust, finally realizing that the game he’s caught up in makes him the patsy, the Laundry Man he never chose to be. The long-dead fellow, Barry Gale of answering machine fame is the link, so Shepherd must find him. And he does, in a walled, protected compound living the luxe life in Phuket. The finale leaves dead bodies, a seeming resolution for the $$$ and Jack, alive and Shepherding the plot into an ending… of sorts. Suffice to say that the author has learned one element not only of expat life in Thailand, but of the novel writing game as well: always leave room for an escape, and a sequel.The book falls down in a place or two. Jack’s spouse, Anita, seems to get lost in its pages, her presence so much wallpaper. She would’ve made a dandy foil as a kidnap victim, or put in danger to heighten Jack’s challenge, but it never happened, despite this reader’s anticipation of her abduction. The book’s foreshadowing works well for the most part--the tracking device in the Volvo, for example, but there may be too much done with minor items to the exclusion of one or two big devices to pop up in the plot. A bit of a doorstop, the story is a dandy read, but at 407 pages it might have been an even better book if shortened by ten percent. All in all a very satisfying, intriguing and believable adventure tale of one expat American’s chase through the sois and seascapes of South Asia.Byron Edgington, author of The Sky Behind Me: A Memoir of Flying & Life

  • Scott Whitmore
    2019-05-21 14:34

    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 and part Beirut” where semi-retired Western gangsters and spies jostle elbows with government ministers and generals at the Polo Club and go-go bars. Thailand and especially Bangkok, as well as Hong Kong to a lesser extent, become supporting characters in this story much as Norway does for Jo Nesbo’s Inspector Harry Hole books. As protagonist Jack Shepherd — who gave up a high-profile position in a Washington, DC law firm to teach at Chulalongkorn University — begins digging into why a supposedly dead man wants to meet him, the reader will meet a colorful cast including local cop Jello, ex-hit man and bar owner Mango Manny and Phony Frank, whose real occupation is…unclear.The suspense constantly ratchets up as Jack bounces from lead to lead, many of which are red herrings. Something is going on — both Jack and the reader knows that much — but what exactly? How and where does Jack tie into it all? And why does everyone he meets tell Jack to stay out of it, even though their demeanor and actions indicate they don’t believe his claims of innocence?With a title like Laundry Man you’d be right in thinking the story centers on “cleaning” ill-gotten money, but fortunately the techno-speak of international banking doesn’t get too detailed. I say “fortunately” because I’ve never much understood or been interested in high finance in general. In fact, Mr. Needham addresses my feelings, and has given me a new way to view international finance in the future: Why was it that so many Americans look at offshore banking as some sort of occult wizardry? I had a sudden vision of huge airplanes stuffed with microchip importers from San Francisco whizzing endlessly around the globe in search of a fabled and mystical land called Offshore, a place forever beyond the reach of greedy governments, combative creditors, and vengeful ex-wives. I myself have always pictured Offshore as a land ruled by Peter Sellers, but now that he was dead, I imagine that Rowan Atkinson must have taken over the throne. -- Needham, Jake (2011-12-01). LAUNDRY MAN (A Jack Shepherd crime novel) (Kindle Locations 1225-1230). Half Penny Ltd (Hong Kong). Kindle Edition.Exotic locations, colorful characters and a puzzle as murky as one of the Chao Phraya River's tributaries…what’s not to like about that? I enjoyed this story quite a bit, and will be adding to my To Read List both more Jack Shepherd books and Mr. Needham’s Inspector Tay series.

  • May
    2019-05-05 09:14

    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
    2019-05-09 09:37

    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 I found parts of the story pretty implausible. Oh well, so is the current political situation.

  • Jason Beech
    2019-05-05 09:20

    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 lecturer in Bangkok, Thailand. Unable to stop his curiosity, he makes a few inquiries, making him a target for he doesn’t-know-who. He finds tracking devices on his car, he finds dead friends in his car’s front seat, and gangsters warn him about what he’s getting himself into.Jake Needham’s novel is about grand conspiracy, including Treadstone-style organisations going loony; dirty money getting shuffled around to hide dodgy business, and local coppers getting used and not liking it. The protagonist is a likable main character, a quiet man caught up in something so much bigger than his understanding, who ends up self-consciously ‘assaulting’ the bad guy’s lair deep in the Thai countryside.I enjoyed Laundry Man, with its affable main character, living a nice, if bland, life in the Far East. There are some enticing descriptions of Thailand, pulling you into the country for a good look, even if you should avoid its officials. However, the novel lacks menace. There’s a couple of deaths that make you worry for the main character, but somehow the book meanders to its finale, rather than drags you there breathless. I never felt Jack was in intense danger, though he had people constantly watching him. Maybe it’s because he was just too laid back, I can’t quite put my finger on it.I’d also have liked it if everybody stopped saying the name of the person they talked with in a lot of dialogue sentences.Still, I did like Jack and his girlfriend, Anita. And the author did make me want to visit Thailand.

  • M.H. Vesseur
    2019-04-28 10:32

    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 stale. So you got mood and ambiance… and then next thing you know there’s a corpse falling on your shoes when you open your Volvo’s door. That’s Jake Needham allright: jumping straight ahead from a sultry, introvert moment to action-packed fiction. “Laundry Man” is the second Jack Shepherd novel I read and the first in the series – and I like them for what they are: modern times, film-noiresque stories with pace and wit. Yes there’s a Bogart-feel to the central character, and Needham has a touch for referring to famous vig screen movies, not as an easy way out but quite fitting. Obviously “Laundry Man” is about dubious international finance, misty bank activities and criminal organizations, and the author knows what he is doing. That makes this book more than a crime novel – it’s also a bit of an education. Albeit a shocking one. And: with steamed rice, as a newspaper reviewer has noted about the Jack Shepherd series. I’d like to quote the author himself as I did in the opening of this review: “Laundry Man” sort of hits like a fist; a swift, oriental blow in the face. I had the occasional hit myself, stuff I didn’t see coming. In this genre, that’s a good thing. See what you think.

  • Sean O'Reilly
    2019-04-24 11:29

    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 which struck me was the profusion of characters, many with names which would have sounded at home in a 1930's pulp crime novel. Early on in the book I was quite confused about who was who and exactly what they had to do with anything. Again to be fair the relevance of all these characters eventually became apparent but they way they had been introduced seemed clumsy.However the biggest flaw was implausibility of the actions of the central character. Here is an economics professor who finds himself immersed in the world of organised crime and international espionage in the middle of his life and after he had emigrated in search of a quiet life. Surprisingly though he seems to take to this bizzare twist in his life path like a duck to water. To me this stretched my suspension of disbelief to breaking point. Although a couple of times I considered abandoning the book I did finish it, mainly because the story moved along at a pace which made it reasonably readable. I will not be going back for more although I am sure that there will be other readers who have a more positive attitude.

  • Carl R.
    2019-05-01 12:13

    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 gorgeous and talented female partner and all kinds of connections hither and yon. It’s the connections that get him in trouble. The call from the dead man concerns his role in a money laundering scheme in which he was never involved. Except he is. And there are dozens of organizations involved, ranging all the way from China to Burma to the White House.Sorting all this out and staying alive and/or out of prison takes a whole book and a lot of trial and error and compels you, the reader, to keep soaring through the adventure till it gets sorted out. As in The Ambassador’s Wife, Needham lets you think things are clear more then once, then confounds the situation yet again, and you don’t know till nearly the end how and why what plays out plays out. Deftly done and as entertaining a thriller as you’ll find around.