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Book Breaks

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 18:15 - 20:30

When two close friends are murdered backstage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, Barry Lancet's protagonist, American Jim Brodie, vows to hunt down their killer or killers.

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Barry Lancet


In his search Brodie stumbles on a covert plot by several rogue states to acquire secrets on America’s top leaders. Then his murdered friend’s daughter is taken hostage, and Brodie realizes too late that he's contending not only with powerful adversaries in the U.S. and abroad, but is on collision course with his most formidable opponent to date: the spy across the table. 

Lancet, formerly a veteran book editor at Kodansha International, made the leap from aspiring expat writer to published author at Simon & Schuster, one of New York’s big 5 publishers, which next month will release The Spy Across the Table. Lancet's fourth mystery-thriller follows 2015's Pacific Burn, a work that explored the tragic aftermath of the Fukushima quake-tsunami disaster and the real reasons behind the nuclear meltdown.

Brodie, the protagonist in all four of Lancet's works, comes with a plausible resume: He's tough, big, and cultured after a fashion. Raised in Japan and fluent in the language, he divides his time between an antique shop he operates in San Francisco and the office of the Tokyo security firm founded by his late father, a former army MP.

Along with sharing some insightful views on the do's and don'ts of marketing contemporary fiction, Lancet will discuss the combination of persistence and luck that enabled him to “jump the gap” and hook a major agent (Robert Gottlieb who discovered Tom Clancy & reps Ronald Kessler, and Elizabeth George, among others), landing him a multi-book contract with a big 5 publisher. Why is it that some writers of fiction succeed, while others fail? Come to the FCCJ on May 16 and hear Lancet talk about the drive, the spark, and other “secret ingredients” that put him on the track to success.

Barry Lancet has lived in Japan for more than twenty-five years. His long tenure in the Japanese capital has provided him with a wealth of insider information that informs his writing. This book is the fourth mystery/thriller to feature Jim Brodie. Japantown, the first entry in his international suspense series, won the Barry Award for Best First Novel, was initially optioned by J. J. Abrams, and is now under consideration at other studios.

*** Advanced reading copies (ARCs) of this book are available for journalists for a story, interview, or review. ***


The library committee is offering a cocktail party  "Meet the Author"  starting at 6:15 pm, followed by dinner at 6:45 pm (Main dish: Sautéed Chicken with Cooked Vegetables). Drinks can be ordered on a cash basis from the bar in the room. Book Break charges are 2,100yen/3,500yen (members/non-members) per person. The member price is applicable to members’ guests.

To FCCJ members: Sign up now at the reception desk (03-3211-3161) or on the FCCJ website. To help us plan proper seating and food preparation, please reserve in advance, preferably by noon of the day of the event. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled. Reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be charged in full.

To non-members: Sign up now at the reception desk by mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). Please reserve and pay in advance by Thursday, May 11. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled. No refund is available unless the event is cancelled for the reasons on our part.

(The talk will be in English)


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