Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jake Needham - THE KING OF MACAU is featured in the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.


The Jack Shepherd International Crime Novels

Author: Jake Needham


JACK SHEPHERD is the kind of lawyer some people call a troubleshooter. At least that's what they call him when they're being polite. The truth is, 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 life were only that simple...

One of the world's largest casino operators hires Shepherd to stop a massive money laundering operation targeting its casino in Macau, a tiny place on the South China Coast that is the biggest gambling center on earth. While Shepherd is looking for the source of the black money moving through the MGM Macau, a frightened man approaches him who claims to have detailed knowledge of the most secret schemes of the North Korean government. All Shepherd's new pal wants in return for spilling all those secrets is political asylum in the United States and a house in Hawaii.

Plunged into a modern-day Casablanca on the South China Sea -- a bubbling caldron of gangsters, gunrunners, money launderers, hustlers, gamblers, con men, and spies -- Shepherd joins forces with the beautiful and enigmatic daughter of a man everybody calls the King of Macau to shut down the black money flow and bring his defector in alive.

Move too fast, and he'll lose control of everything. Move too slow...and Macau just might kill him.


THE FIRST SHOT WENT wide and the second shot went high, and I have absolutely no idea where the third shot went.

By the time I heard it, I was flat on my belly behind a black Rolls Royce that someone had fortunately left parked in the driveway right where I was standing. The concrete smelled of rain and the car smelled of wax, and the silence that followed the three shots was so complete I could have counted the tiny ticks from the car’s engine cooling in the night air.

I could have, but I didn’t. I was too busy trying to figure out what was happening. And more important, whether it had anything to do with me.

I had been in Macau for only a few hours. Surely I hadn’t pissed anybody off that quickly, at least not enough for them to want to shoot me. Then again, I’d been wrong about things like that before.

WHEN THE SHOOTING STARTED, I was just standing there looking at the early February fog filling Macau’s narrow streets. The thin, wispy light made the whole place feel even more romantic and mysterious to me than it usually did. The upper half of the Grand Lisboa Hotel, a golden-hued monstrosity of a building that was supposed to resemble a gigantic lotus blossom, was gone, lost in the grey-white shroud lying on the city. Wrought iron balconies, cobblestone alleyways, flickering streetlights, and the indecipherable Chinese characters of the road signs were all rendered in feathery soft focus by the gauzy billows of fog. It was like walking into a black and white movie. I felt like Robert Mitchum waiting on a misty street corner for Jane Russell to appear.

I had spent the last hour or so killing the evening by strolling around the casino at the Wynn Macau. The brightly lit rooms, the crowds of Chinese gamblers, the haze of smoke over the tables, and the brittle anticipation breathed in and out by a thousand gamblers in near perfect synchrony had held me for a while, mesmerized by the great world of vice and dissipation. But I’m not a gambler myself, at least not when it comes to casinos, and I felt no personal tug from the tables, so after a while II lost interest and walked out through the Wynn’s east entrance with the vague idea of having a nightcap at the Lisboa Hotel’s famous Whiskey Bar.

Then I heard the sound of the shots ricocheting off the concrete and I wasn’t Robert Mitchum anymore. I was just a middle-aged guy trying to dig a hole in a driveway.

THE SHOOTER, WHOEVER HE WAS, started firing again and I gave up the thought of risking a glimpse over the hood of the Rolls before it was completely formed. I could tell from the sound of the reports that the shots were coming from a handgun, probably a nine. At least the little creep wasn’t wielding an AK-47 on full auto like some LA gangbanger.

I heard five more shots. None of the bullets hit the Rolls, and I counted the pings as they ricocheted off the driveway. Either the gunman was the world’s worst shot or he couldn’t bring himself to put holes in a Rolls Royce. That’s what I’d bet on. In Macau, wealth and its display were about the only things most people thought worth defending.

When I heard the rumble of a big bike revving hard and moving south toward the harbor, I figured that had to be the shooter beating it out of there and I resurrected the idea of taking a glance out from behind the Rolls. I pushed myself to my knees and did a quick head fake over the hood. Since that didn’t draw any fire and I didn’t see a shooter, I lifted my head and took a long look around.

Nobody was down and there wasn’t any sign of damage. All I could see was a lot of people running around like idiots. Macau was getting back to normal already.

Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers Author

Website: Jake Needham
Author's Blog: Jake Needham blog
Twitter: @jakeneedham
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description: JAKE NEEDHAM is an American screen and television writer who began writing crime novels and legal thrillers when he realized he really didn't like movies and television very much.

He is a lawyer by education and held a number of significant positions in both the public and private sectors where he took part in a lengthy list of international operations he has absolutely no intention of telling you about. Then, somehow, he became a screenwriter following a series of accidents and coincidences too ridiculous to be believed.

Mr. Needham has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand for over twenty-five years. He, his wife, and their two sons now divide their time between homes in Thailand and the United States.

You can read excerpts from all Jake Needham's books as well as his occasional 'Letters from Asia' at his web site:

Author's Book List
THE UMBRELLA MAN - An Inspector Samuel Tay Novel
The first bomb cracked the Hilton like an egg; the second gutted the lobby of the Marriott; and the third peeled the front off the Grand Hyatt. Three massive explosions, all at American hotels in the heart of the city, and all within a few horrifying seconds. Hundreds are dead and thousands are injured. Singapore is bleeding.

Inspector Samuel Tay is a senior inspector in the Special Investigation Section of Singapore CID, but he is frozen out of this investigation from the beginning. He's made serious enemies in Singapore's Internal Security Department, and he has even more enemies at the American embassy, so Tay is assigned routine cases while his colleagues join with the CIA and the FBI in a feverish search for the bombers.

Three days after the explosions, the smell of death still sticky in the city's air, Tay is sent to a run-down apartment near the Malaysian border where two children have found the body of a Caucasian male with a broken neck. Tay feels an immediate connection with the dead man, although he doesn't think he has ever seen him before.

As Tay searches the dead man's past for clues to who he was and who his killer might have been, Tay's own past begins to give up its secrets. A long-dead father he can barely remember reaches out of the grave to point to the truth about both the murdered man and the bombings. And the horror of Singapore's destruction becomes a personal horror for Samuel Tay.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
A WORLD OF TROUBLE - (A Jack Shepherd crime thriller)
Jack Shepherd was sick of Washington politics, sick of corporate law, and even a little sick of himself. So he hit the road looking for a new start, made a couple of wrong turns, and somehow wound up in Hong Kong. Now he needs a job, and being General Chalerm Kitnarock's lawyer is a job, so he takes it.

Shepherd could certainly have done a lot worse for himself. Charlie Kitnarok is the world's ninety-eighth richest man. But he's also a former prime minister of Thailand now living in exile in Dubai. When he's not making money, he's plotting his return to political power.

For Shepherd, that could be a real problem. Thailand already has a prime minister, and she's a woman with whom Shepherd once had a brief relationship. It will get particularly messy if, as Shepherd suspects, Charlie is smuggling arms to his supporters and intends to use the Thai army to seize control of the country. Can Shepherd keep his two friends from destroying each other and prevent Thailand from sliding into chaos?

Thailand is hurtling closer and closer to a bloody civil war. And as unlikely as it may sound, Jack Shepherd is probably the only person on earth who can stop it.

Order the Book From: Amazon
KILLING PLATO - (A Jack Shepherd crime thriller)
Plato Karsarkis was an international celebrity straight out of Vanity Fair until a New York grand jury indicted him for smuggling Iraqi oil and charged him with racketeering and espionage. There was also the matter of a woman he may or may not have murdered to cover it all up. When Karsarkis flees the United States just ahead of the FBI and promptly vanishes, the world's media whips itself into a frenzy.

Jack Shepherd was a politically connected American lawyer until he traded the fierce intrigues of Washington for the quiet life in Bangkok. Then one day he walks into a bar on the jet-set island of Phuket and finds the world's most famous fugitive waiting for him.

Karsarkis wants to hire him. He wants a presidential pardon so he can return to American and he knows Shepherd's connections to the White House just might get it for him. But the U.S. Marshals are in Phuket as well and they want something from Shepherd, too. They're there to kidnap Karsarkis and take him back to the US for trial and the Marshals want Shepherd to help them set a trap.

What Shepherd wants is for everybody to go away and leave him alone. At least he does until he discovers a chilling secret, one that plunges him a violent spiral of friendship and betrayal and pulls him straight back into the life he thought he had left behind in Washington.

The Marshals aren't really in Phuket to arrest Plato Karsarkis. They're there to kill him.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
LAUNDRY MAN - (A Jack Shepherd crime thriller)
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 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 during 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 the global tide of corruption, extortion and murder that is fast engulfing the new life he has made for himself in Thailand.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
From the Big Apple, to the Big Orange, to the Big Mango. It does have a kind of nutty logic to it. Bangkok is about as far as Eddie Dare can go without falling off the edge of the world, although at times Eddie wonders if that isn't exactly what he has done.

$400,000,000 is in the wind, the result of a bungled CIA operation to grab the Bank of Vietnam's currency reserves when the Americans fled Saigon in 1975. A few decades later, the word on the street is that all that money somehow ended up in Bangkok and a downwardly mobile lawyer from San Francisco named Eddie Dare is the only guy who can find it.

The problem is, Eddie knows nothing at all about the missing money. At least he doesn't think he does. But so many other people believe he's got an inside track that he and his old marine buddy Winnebago Jones figure it's worth a shot to head for Bangkok and try their luck.

But first Eddie and Winnebago have to battle the jagged netherworld of modern-day Thailand - a corkscrewed realm where big-time dealers tango with small-time hustlers, criminals on the lam mingle with politicians on the take, and the merely raffish jostle with the downright scary for center stage in the big leagues of weird.

If they can overcome all that - as well as outmaneuver a freelancing CIA man, a pack of angry Secret Service agents, and a ruthless Vietnamese intelligence woman - maybe they can find out what really happened back in Saigon all those years ago.

And where those ten tons of money are.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
The Ambassadors Wife
The first body is in Singapore, on a bed in an empty suite in the Marriott Hotel. The second in Bangkok, in a seedy apartment close to the American embassy. Both women. Both Americans. Both beaten viciously and shot in the head. Both stripped naked and lewdly displayed.

The FBI says it's terrorism, but the whispers on the street are that a serial killer is stalking American women across Asia.

Inspector Samuel Tay of Singapore CID is something of a reluctant policeman. He's a little overweight, a little lonely, a little cranky, and he smokes way too much. Thinking back, he can't even remember why he became a police detective in the first place. He talks about quitting all the time, but he hasn't. Because the thing is, he's very, very good at what he does.

When bodies of American women start turning up, Singapore CID calls in Inspector Tay. It's a high profile case, and he's the best they have.

Then why is it, Tay soon begins to wonder, that nobody seems to want him to find the women's killer? Not the FBI, not the American ambassador, not even his bosses at CID.

When international politics takes over a murder case, the truth is the next victim.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner and
HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

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