“Tight and atmospheric, Needham’s Jack Shepherd novels are a perfect combination of suspense and wit. Jack Shepherd is a delight, a sharp-witted lawyer with a drive for justice forced to reside in a world of hard men who don’t believe in the rule of law.”
—The Malaysian Star
JACK SHEPHERD IS the kind of a lawyer people call a troubleshooter. At least that’s what they call him when they’re being polite. Shepherd is the guy people go to when they have a problem too ugly to tell anyone else about. He locates the trouble for them, and then he shoots it. Neat, huh? If his life were only that simple…
A little money is missing from the Malaysian National Investment Fund. How little? Oh, a couple of billion dollars, give or take. The Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs figures the Malaysian Minister of Finance funneled it into a bunch of shell corporations in Hong Kong so he hires Shepherd to find it and get it back again. Quietly. Very quietly.
Shepherd is tiptoeing around Hong Kong’s financial back alleys looking for Malaysia’s money when an old friend unexpectedly turns up. Pete Logan claims to be the resident FBI man in Bangkok, but Shepherd has always figured him for something else. Maybe CIA, maybe worse. Pete Logan isn’t in Hong Kong because he cares one whit about the missing Malaysian billions. He got a much bigger problem.
A military coup has just swept over Thailand and the Thai army is holding the former prime minister under house arrest. Logan says the prime minister’s life is at risk unless a rescue is mounted quickly. There’s just one thing. The American government can’t be seen to be involved. And that’s where Shepherd comes in.
Shepherd once lived in Thailand and there was a time when he loved the place. But things went sour for him there, he’s fallen thoroughly out of love, and the Thai army in particular doesn’t want him back in the country. Still, as much as Shepherd just wants to tell Logan to go away and leave him alone, it’s not nearly that simple. The prime minister whose life is in danger is a woman with whom Shepherd once had a relationship – well, sort of – and Shepherd is not only loyal to his friends, he’s a sucker for smart, good-looking women. The little voices in Shepherd’s head are screaming at him not to get involved, but he puts the problem of the missing Malaysian billions on the back burner anyway and slips back into Thailand to try and help the former prime minister.
Getting in isn’t really all that big a problem. The trick will be getting back out again. And it may be an even bigger trick to keep his old friend alive long enough to get her out, too.