Jack Shepherd is larger than life. If only he thought that. Everyone else seems to think he is.

These days Jack is just a plodder. A good day for him is taking the escalator from his apartment to his office. A bad day, there aren’t any bad days in Hong Kong, are there?

A bad day is having to break his routine. He’s a creature of habit.

He’s no high-flying lawyer anymore.

But he chugs along. He keeps busy. His services are still in demand.

He’s currently tracking down some big coin.

He’s indifferent to success, he’s been there and done that.

He’s not indifferent to how low he has fallen.

Somehow he’ll get over it.

A guy with a Darth Vader voice booms across the street.

It’s Jello.

What the fuck is he doing in Hong Kong?

Can’t mean any good, Jack is probably thinking.

I’m probably getting ahead of myself here. That’s never difficult.

Jello works for some Crime Suppression Unit in Thailand.

But what I’m interested in now is Jack.

He’s walking to Mongkok.

He’s taking it all in. He’s showing us his neighborhood. It’s not pretty in the tourist sense.

It’s more like the dirty part of town.

Jack is back. He’s a glutton for punishment. He just doesn’t know how to say no.

Alright, maybe I”m mixing loyalty with punishment. Surely they mean the same thing in some instances?

Okay, splitting hairs ain’t cutting the grade and only Jack can speak for himself.

I’m along with Jack for the ride.

He told us to shut the fuck up and listen. And hey, why not.

He’s usually got something intelligible to say. He rarely gives out advice though, he’s got to cover his arse somehow right?

Do as I say, not as I do.

I get it.

Now, what was I saying?

Jack is on his way to meet a client.

He passes a few cathouses. God bless him, and only in the first few pages of Don’t Get Caught. What does Jack Shepherd and Inspector Samual Tay have in common? Fuck all. But I can bet they have ended up at a few cathouses on their investigative rounds.

Jack isn’t getting BJ’s from Corporate America anymore. Heck, he’s not even getting BJ’s full stop. The most he can hope for a day is to see a pretty pair of legs while making his way down the escalator. He can’t even time it that he’s going up the escalator when he’s spotted a nice skirt.

Dang he’s fallen from grace.

Heck, he’s the damned. And right proud of it. Well, not exactly but he’s not letting on much that he’s at his all-time low. Maybe he’s dropping a few hints.

He has far too much to observe.  A man like Jack keeps himself pretty busy.

Even if it’s reminiscing about the good old days, he has at least the good old days to reminisce about.

Now that’s a tautology?

Just get on with the fucking review.

Now reviewing a Jake Needham novel isn’t just about ticking the boxes and blowing some hot air and saying, that was fucking great. He’d see through the bullshit if you tried that one but would be too kind to embarrass any of his fans.

That’s why we all dig Jake Needham.

The book review?

Whoops, sorry, I was getting distracted again. I blame it on the coffee. I really shouldn’t be drinking that shit after 10 pm.

When Jack gets back into the fray, you get the feeling that he would have been happier plodding up and down that escalator in Hong Kong.

Thailand is a thankless swine. Thailand has died for him. He nearly died for Thailand.

The Pixies are even standing up and paying their tribute to Jack Shepherd. Black Francis is screaming out his tonsils.

And I’m taking myself to a dirty part of town
Where all my troubles can’t be found
Makes you wanna feel
Makes you wanna try
Makes you wanna blow the stars from the sky
Jack looks up in surprise, tears welling up in his tired eyes. He’s seen too much.

The 90’s and all it stood for is echoed in the dirty screams of The Pixies. They were heady days.

Jack, stay safe. We need you around.


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