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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Laundry Man by Jake Needham

Genre: Thriller

Setting: Bangkok, Thailand

First Sentence:  It began exactly the way the end of the world will begin.

Jack Shepherd is an American ex pat living in Thailand.  In his past life he was a lawyer who specialized in esoteric financial deals.  The kind that are often used to launder money.  Now he is a college professor teaching finance and business law classes in Bangkok.

Out of the blue, he gets a phone call from a former acquaintance.  There's just one small problem:  the acquaintance is supposed to be dead.  He was the object of an investigation into a  failed bank who had been found at the bottom of a pool.  An apparent suicide.  Now he wants Jack's help finding tens of millions of dollars that have gone missing.

Soon Jack is being questioned by lots of people.  Everyone seems to believe that Jack knows what is going on, and where the missing money is.  There's just one small problem, he has no clue.  His curiosity leads him into trying to unravel the mystery.  Then, when two of Jack's contacts turn up dead it's obvious that the frame is on.  Jack needs to get to the bottom of the mystery, to find out who is framing him and why, and find the missing money.  Soon.  Or Jack might end up dead too.

I really enjoyed this book.  I know it's cliche, but is was a page turner.  Needham's writing style just makes it a real pleasure to read.  A novel based on finances, banking and contracts might be slow paced and dry, but Needham has crafted a fast paced exciting novel.  Jack Shepherd is an interesting and believable character.  The novel is written in a first-person point of view.  We can see that Jack is just as confused as we are.  It motivated me to keep reading and discover the solution to the mystery.  Needham does a great job of describing Thailand and the city of Bangkok.  He set the stage for each episode without slowing down the pace of the novel.  I am looking forward to the second book in this series.  I'll be reading it soon!

Laundry Man

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