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I recall Jack Shepherd visiting a cathouse in Macau. From memory, it’s only for business, never for fun.

Jack could have just dished up the best of Bangkok by a long shot.

The whores are fatter.

Who would ever have guessed?

His description of Nana Plaza is clinically precise. Once a lawyer, always a lawyer.

What?

What better place to meet 3 or four hundred sweety aging Caucasians with one goal in mind.

But the times are a changing. Menus offering French cuisine at Nana Plaza just don’t rub well with some punters.

On another wonderful detour, have you ever heard of the  Jungle Jim Syndrome?

This is my interpretation of it.

They are the nasty, hypocritical and petty specimens called expats. They are the type who say if you write anything bad about Thailand, they’ll track you down and break your skull.They are the type who will snitch on you to the Thais to curry more favor. They are the type who are beyond reasoning, especially when it’s going to jeopardize their access to the big tits and easy money.

It’s all here in Don’t Get Caught and islittle masterpiece of expat psychology.

Only the brave and smart escape. The dullards who stay just get fatter and Thai-witted.

It’s also called the Bangkok Syndrome.

But Jack has seen it all before and he’s prepared.

And here’s a few tips on the language syndrome.  Play dumb, the dumber the better. Let the Thais abuse you in their own language and smile when they lie through their teeth and translate it as a harmless saying.

Watch Jack give it back when the military asked to see his passport. He was lucky he didn’t get a bullet to his head, a few times.

What Thais think as a lethal linguistic weapon, old Asian hands like Jack consider childish and mildly amusing. There are ways to deal with Thais, and there are other ways. I prefer Jack’s.

As you can see, Jack’s taken off his rose-tinted glasses and what he dishes up is a Bangkok stripped of its varnish and veneer. Without its mask on,  things are bound to get ugly.  If it’s naked truths you are after…

It’s always like entering a rabbit hole when reading Jake Needham books.

Just what the fuck is really happening underground?

A lot more than you’d ever suspect.

This is as close to Casablanca as you are ever going to get.

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

It won’t make sense unless you make it make sense.

He’s alone now. Out and out alone.

I know he’s yearning for those escalators in Hong Kong.

And as a thank you, I’m going to play Disney’s theme song for the troubleshooting lawyer.

It’s a world of laughter,
A world of tears.
It’s a world of hopes,
And a world of fears.

I can hear Jack mumbling  (the world) is too fucking small.

He’s confronted his past. Ike is in the wind. Salvation is a quick getaway.

I’m sure Jack will pop up in Phom Phen and kick back an Angkor beer at some riverside cafe. And it will begin all over again.

I could be wrong about it.

You never know what trouble Jack Shepherd is drawn to. One thing you can depend on, he’ll always help out a friend in distress.

There’s no backtracking when loyalty is concerned. Even when it means being up a shit creek in a canoe without a paddle.

He’ll facepalm himself a few more times before he can enjoy that beer.

Just what is Jack experiencing emotionally is anyone’s guess. But I suspect he’s an adrenaline junky. It’s a poor substitute for love, I know.

Two stories, two threads, and a whole bunch of adventure crammed in-between. Don’t Get Caught will draw you down the rabbit’s hole. Only a master guide can direct you back up for fresh air.

This book lives up to  the adage, ‘If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.”

Now if you haven’t packed your bag with your passport and an escape route planned to the nearest airport, then what the fuck are doing here reading this?

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