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 HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Jake Needham's New Book: THE GIRL IN THE WINDOW.
Jake is a best-selling Mystery & Thrillers Author.
THE GIRL IN THE WINDOW
The Inspector Samuel Tay Novels Book 4
Author: Jake Needham
Singapore is a good house in a bad neighborhood.
Three hundred million Muslims live in Indonesia and Malaysia completely surrounding the barely five million people living in the secular city-state. Islamic terrorism in Asia may not get much attention in America or Europe, but it gets plenty in Singapore.
They’ve been hit once already. Not long ago, coordinated truck bombs laid waste to three American hotels in Singapore. Thousands were killed and injured. And everyone knows it’s just a matter of time before Singapore gets hit again.
Abu Suparman is the messianic leader of a radical group of Indonesian Muslims fighting for ISIS in Southeast Asia. Most people think Suparman was personally responsible for the Singapore hotel bombings. When Singapore receives a tip that Suparman is slipping into the country to meet a sister having cancer surgery, Inspector Samuel Tay gets the job of finding him before something nasty happens.
It seems at first to be a straightforward assignment. Tay is given two officers to work with him: his own sergeant, Robbie Kang, and Sergeant Linda Lee, a capable officer with whom Tay once had a disastrous and blessedly brief personal relationship. All they have to do is keep the sister under surveillance until she leads them to Suparman, right?
But things go bad. Really bad.
The surveillance turns into a shambles, people die, and Suparman vanishes. Tay’s only clue to what really happened that rainy night on Serangoon Road where everything went down is a girl he briefly glimpsed watching it all from a building next door.
Tay’s quest for the girl in the window takes him on a terrifying journey into a no man’s land where there are secrets so big governments will kill to protect them. With the help of John August, a shadowy American with murky connections, Tay battles governments determined to bury the truth in order to unmask the politicians using their power and position to hide their own crimes.
Tay knows exactly how to do that.
If he can just stay alive long enough.
Excerpt from THE GIRL IN THE WINDOW
THE APARTMENT WASN’T very big and it wasn’t very appealing. Just once she would like to walk into a suite at a Four Seasons rather than one of these shabby, ramshackle places with decades of unhappiness and despair soaked right into the walls.
The front door opened into a living room that was slightly longer than it was wide. She turned on the air-conditioner and listened to it wheeze and rattle until it finally caught and began slowly filling the room with tepid air. Then she took stock of her surroundings.
The living room was furnished with a brown tweed sofa, a rectangular coffee table, and a faded, threadbare rug that might once have been green. The couch sagged in the middle and the table was made of some nasty-looking synthetic material trying without the slightest success to imitate mahogany. A small dining table with a glass top and a couple of straight-backed wooden chairs occupied one corner and a tiny Pullman kitchen occupied the other. Across the room a tattered shade bleached white by the sun covered a double-hung window.
She closed the door behind her and threw the dead bolt. Dropping the two small bags she was carrying on the sofa, she went straight to the window, and lifted one side of the shade. It wasn’t a view anyone was likely to put on a postcard, but the view was the reason she was there.
The apartment was on the third floor at the southeast corner of the building and it looked straight down into Serangoon Road. She had an unobstructed view along the road for at least a quarter of a mile. That might be useful later, but what mattered now was off to her left.
The Fortuna Hotel was just on the other side of a small cross street called Owen Road. It was a modest tourist hotel with fewer than sixty rooms on its five floors and from the window she had a clear view of the entrance to the lobby. She smiled. This might be the easiest job she had ever done.
She dropped the shade and went to check out the rest of the apartment. It didn’t take her very long.
The small bedroom was dingy, and a lumpy-looking double bed stripped of linens almost filled it. She didn’t bother to go in. She could see the crusty-looking stains on the mattress from the doorway.
She put her head in the bathroom and was relieved to see it appeared to be reasonably clean, at least it did if she didn’t look too closely and she certainly wasn’t going to do that. The bedroom didn’t matter. She had brought a sleeping bag and had no intention of going near the bedroom. The bathroom was another thing altogether.
She might be here for two or three days. A clean bathroom was a big deal.
She went back to the living room and began unpacking her two small leather valises. The first held her sleeping bag, a half dozen bottles of water, a box of peanut butter PowerBars, and a few apples and bananas. On the bottom were three pairs of clean underwear and two shirts. She left the clothes in the valise and tossed the sleeping bag on the sofa, but she carried the food and water over to the round table in the corner and spread it around so she could tell at a glance what she had left.
The second valise contained her equipment: a pair of Steiner tactical binoculars with a built-in rangefinder; a Sig-Sauer nine millimeter with two extra magazines; two burner phones; a plastic jug of bleach and a wad of rags; and of course her Remington Defense CSR bolt-action sniper rifle which was frequently called the rucksack rifle because of the ease with which it could be broken down and concealed. She loved the rucksack rifle. It was rugged and accurate and it fired the 7.62mm NATO sniper round. She thought of it as nine pounds of pure ballistic badassery.
It took her less than forty-five seconds to put together the rifle’s five components, check the action, and slide the Leupold & Stevens scope onto its mount. She snapped the AAC quick release suppressor to the muzzle and laid the rifle on the couch.
The only part of setting up that turned out to be difficult was getting the window open. It would really have been something to have to call off the whole operation because she couldn’t open the damned window. Christ, they would never have let her live that one down. But she pushed and struggled and slammed the frame with the heel of her hand and eventually it opened.
She moved the window up and down a couple of times to make certain it would open again when she needed it to, but then she quickly closed it again. Singapore’s air was thick, heavy, and wet. Breathing it was like trying to inhale warm Jell-O. Every single time she was in Singapore she wondered exactly the same thing: why did human beings choose to live in a place with such a crappy climate?
She pushed the sofa table against the wall near the window and stood back to examine its position with a critical eye. She nudged it a foot to the left, then a few inches back to the right. After she had it positioned exactly the way she wanted it, she laid out phones, the binoculars, and the Sig so that all three were within easy reach. After that, she dragged two of the straight chairs over in front of the window, raised the shade, and pushed the two chairs around until she had them lined up correctly. Then she sat down in one and put her feet in the other.
Whoever picked the apartment had done a good job. From where she sat, she could see both the main entrance to the Fortuna Hotel and an emergency exit next to a Western Union office on Serangoon Road. She hardly even had to move her head.
When she was satisfied with everything, she picked up the Steiner binoculars, leaned back from the window to prevent the lenses from flaring with a burst of sunlight, and took a closer look at the entry to the hotel lobby. There was just a single pair of glass doors level with the sidewalk. No steps, no ramps. A piece of white paper was taped to the door on the left. Somebody had handwritten on it Use other door.
She hadn’t seen anyone at all go in or out of the lobby in the fifteen minutes or so she had been in the apartment. Maybe the hotel didn’t even have enough traffic to make it worthwhile to unlock both doors. All the better for her.
She touched the binocular’s rangefinder button and the red LCD lit up. The lobby doors were ninety-seven meters away.
She could make that shot with the nine. Well, probably she could make it with the nine, but downhill shots were tricky with a handgun. Although the distance wasn’t too bad, the firing angle from the third-story window would alter the bullet drop and that would make her change her normal hold for the distance. The shot wouldn’t exactly be automatic, not even for her. Which really didn’t matter, she supposed, since she wasn’t going to try it that way.
That was why she had the Remington and why the Remington had a box magazine loaded with ten rounds of long-range MK 316 frangible cartridges, a 175-grain round designed for long-range sniping.
She wouldn’t need ten rounds. She wouldn’t even need two. One round was all that would be necessary.
Ninety-seven meters amounted to point blank range with the Remington. With the Remington, the shot would be automatic. With the Remington, she could make the shot with her eyes closed.
But she wasn’t going to try it that way either.
Mystery & Thrillers Author
Jake Needham blog
Check Out Goodreads
Check Out Facebook
Post with Profile + Interview:
HBS Author's Spotlight
Amazon Author Profile
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: www.JakeNeedham.com.
Author's Book List
THE DEAD AMERICAN
- The Inspector Samuel Tay Novels Book 3
They steer a tight ship in squeaky-clean Singapore. No dissent, no opposition, no criticism. It’s like an entire country run by Walt Disney. Disneyland with the death penalty, somebody once called it.
A young American software engineer hangs himself in his Singapore apartment. At least that’s what the police say happened. Emma Lazar, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, thinks otherwise. She thinks Tyler Bartlett was murdered to keep him quiet, and the Singapore police are covering it up.
Emma asks Inspector Samuel Tay to help her investigate the young man’s death. Tay is a senior inspector in the elite Special Investigation Section of Singapore CID. He’s pretty much the best investigator the Singapore police have, but Tay’s father was an American and from him Tay inherited a strong streak of American individualism that has made him an outsider in tightly wound little Singapore. That’s mostly why Tay has been placed on leave. He shot a man and everyone knows it was self-defense, but Tay’s enemies have seized on the incident to try to get rid of him once and for all.
Tay is reluctant to get involved. It won’t help him get his job back to challenge the government’s official narrative about the death of Tyler Bartlett. But Emma’s story tickles his curiosity, and…well, the truth is she's beautiful and he’s bored, so he tells her he will help anyway.
Learning that Tyler Bartlett’s death was no suicide is easy enough for Tay. What's more difficult is finding out what the young man knew that made him worth killing. When Tay realizes his superiors are working behind the scenes to keep the secret, he becomes more determined than ever to discover what, and who, is really behind Tyler's murder.
Of course, there’s a problem there. If Tay does find out, won’t that make him worth killing, too?
Order the Book From:
THE UMBRELLA MAN
- The Inspector Samuel Tay Novels Book 2
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:
Barnes and Noble
The Ambassadors Wife
- The Inspector Samuel Tay Novels Book 1
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:
Barnes and Noble
THE KING OF MACAU
- The Jack Shepherd International Crime Novels Book 4
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.
Order the Book From:
A WORLD OF TROUBLE
- The Jack Shepherd International Crime Novels Book 3
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:
- The Jack Shepherd International Crime Novels Book 2
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:
Barnes and Noble
- The Jack Shepherd International Crime Novels Book 1
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:
Barnes and Noble
THE BIG MANGO
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:
Barnes and Noble
Author Recommended by:
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner
Mystery Reader’s Circle
Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.