Book Review: Killing Plato by Jake Needham


Killing Plato, the second novel in the Jack Shepherd, continues the account of an American lawyer who walked away from the fast life for what he thought would be a more tranquil life as a law professor in Thailand. Fortunately for us readers, that plan goes awry as he is pushed into dangerous situations with even more dangerous characters. Thanks goodness!
In Phuket Jack meets Plato Karsarkis, a rather high-end criminal and a fugitive from American law enforcement. Jack desperately wants to avoid any messy entanglements, but of course that never happens. As before, I won’t ruin the story for you. Suffice to say, Jack’s personal and professional life is completely overturned and destroyed by the events and people who force their way into his life.
Needham writes about Thailand with years of experience that comes shining through every novel. Having been to Thailand a few times myself, his writing nicely triggers memories of streets and sounds and smells of a country that I hope to visit a few more hundred times before I head to the last soi in the sky.
A few of his lines really jumped out at me and I had the wherewithal to write them down. On page 627 (Kindle edition), he has an Australian woman ranting about white men who go for Asian women. She spews about the psychological and sexual insecurities of such yellow fever types, with all the projection I have heard firsthand from numerous Western women in my time in Asia. Had me chuckling as I thought of all the stereotypes thrown out on such occasions.
On 1438, Needham quotes the journalist Desmond O’Grady: “Living in a foreign country is like being on a football team without a home field. You’re always playing away.” Oh yeah. Ten plus years in Japan taught me that. As much I love where I am at, I also realize that I will never assimilate and will always be foreign. So be it.

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