Friends and neighbors,
I’ve lived in Asia for most of the last twenty-five or so years, which accounts for why all of my novels are based to some degree on real events and in most cases events with which I’ve had some personal association.
For example, I wrote THE DEAD AMERICAN, Inspector Tay #3, because of the mysterious death of a young American in Singapore back in 2012. His name was Shane Todd and he was working there as an electrical engineer. Just a few days before he was scheduled to return home to the United States, he was discovered hanged in his own apartment.
The Singapore police quickly ruled Shane’s death a suicide, but his parents rejected that conclusion. They conducted their own investigation with the support of a British journalist, asked a lot of questions for which the police had no satisfactory answers, and began a campaign to force the Singapore police to admit that Shane Todd had been murdered. I wrote in some detail about Shane’s death and his parents’ investigation in a Letter from Asia back in 2014. It was called The Death of a Young American in Singapore and, if you’re interested, you can find that letter HERE.
Something happened a few weeks ago that brought it all back and, I don’t mind saying, shook me a bit….
I received an email from Shane Todd’s mother. She had discovered my novel THE DEAD AMERICAN through a friend and she said she just thought she should reach out to me directly. I have to tell you it gave me chills reading her email. I could feel the circle close: from Shane’s death, to writing THE DEAD AMERICAN, to the stark reality of a promising young man dying under mysterious circumstances in Singapore in 2012.
My book was fiction, of course, but it drew generally on Shane’s death as the basis for its narrative. Shane’s mother, however, has written a non-fiction account of her son’s death and her struggle to prevent the Singaporean police from brushing it under the rug. It’s called HARD DRIVE: A FAMILY’S FLIGHT AGAINST THREE COUNTRIES, and I commend it to you as an excellent and sobering read about what can happen to an American abroad who crosses the wrong people.
I know a lot of you prefer print books to ebooks. I know this because I’ve gotten a lot of complaints over the last few years that the Jack Shepherd books are no longer available in print editions. I’m delighted to be able to tell you right now that we’ve fixed that.
All four published Jack Shepherd novels are now out in new print editions. While the first three Shepherd titles were previously available in Asia, Europe, and the UK in print editions published by Marshall Cavendish Ltd, none of those books were ever sold in the U.S. and THE KING OF MACAU has never before been sold in a print edition anywhere. Since this is therefore a bit of an occasion for me, we’ve gone all out and dressed the Shepherd titles up in spiffy new covers from one of the coolest book designers around.
Sadly, you won’t find any of my Shepherd titles at your neighborhood bookstore since general distribution to retailers doesn’t happen without the support of a major publisher, but Amazon will be happy to send you a trade paperback edition of any of the four published Jack Shepherd titles for the bargain price of $14.99, or somewhere around £12.00 if you’re buying from Amazon UK.
I can see you putting up your hand to ask a question and, before you do, let me quickly say that the answer is no. Jack Shepherd #5, DON’T GET CAUGHT, is not available yet. Right now it’s tentatively scheduled for publication about March 1, 2017
Here, however, is where you can find those sparkling new trade paperback editions of the four Shepherd titles that have been published: