December 6

Set in Tokyo on the eve of Pearl Harbor, Smith’s new historical thriller follows Harry Niles, an American rogue reared in Japan. As a rebellious child, Harry was often embarrassed by his missionary parents, who understood neither the language nor the culture of their adopted home. He becomes, however, the ultimate rising son: A nightclub owner, a gambler, a capitalist, and possibly a spy, he’s like the occidental cousin of Harry Lime, the grinning black marketeer in Graham Greene’s The Third Man. Like that classic, this is a novel of personal betrayal and breathless suspense as the hero’s various schemes and double crosses implode on him just as war becomes inevitable. But Smith manages to flesh out his Harry as a hard-bitten realist willing to relax his self-absorption for a noble principle. Or the hint of love.

December 6
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