World of Trouble is the third novel in the Jack Shepherd series by Jake Needham. Jack has left Thailand for Dubai (strange exchange in my opinion) to work closely with his sole client, Charlie Kitnarok, who is clearly based on former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
After a failed assassination attempt in Dubai, Jake has to return to Thailand to help his client safely return. During the process, poor Jake gets winds of gun running and a shadowy group funding (and arming) both the protestors on the streets of Thailand.
This novel, more than Needham’s others, comments more directly on the ongoing political struggles of his adopted home. Speaking personally, I was in Bangers during the protests. At that point the protests were quite peaceful and playful. They later got really ugly, with a policeman being killed and culminating in the police firing live rounds into the crowds. I went to Laos the next summer!
Needham has more great lines in this novel as well. (687) “He doubted Dubai was a place where irony played particularly well.” Interesting tangent there as I have repeatedly noticed that irony and sarcasm do not go over well in Japan, either. Not sure why.
And the ultimate in witty one liners: “Thailand is the Italy of Asia. Great food, beautiful women, joyously corrupt, and totally dysfunctional.” I have long thought that Japan is the England of Asia, so the comparison of Thailand to Italy fits perfectly in there. Thanks for the great quote, Jack/Jake!