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San Francisco antiques dealer Jim Brodie recently inherited a stake in his father’s Tokyo-based private investigation firm, which means the single father of six-year-old Jenny is living a busy intercontinental life, traveling to Japan to acquire art and artifacts for his store and con­sulting on Brodie Security’s caseload at home and abroad.

One night, an entire family is gunned down in San Francisco’s bustling Japantown neighbor­hood, and Brodie is called on by the SFPD to decipher the lone clue left at the crime scene: a unique Japanese character printed on a slip of paper drenched in blood.

Brodie can’t read the clue. But he may have seen it before – at the scene of his wife’s death in a house fire four years ago.

With his deep array of Asian connections and fluency in Japanese, Brodie sets out to solve a seemingly perfect crime and at the same time learn whether his wife’s tragic death was more than just an accident. And as he unravels a web of intrigue stretching back centuries and con­nected to the murders in San Francisco, the Japantown killer retaliates with a new target: Brodie’s daughter.

JAPANTOWN is available from Audible, iTunes and Simon & Schuster.


“[A] sophisticated international thriller . . . Having lived and worked in Japan for more than 25 years, Lancet brings an impressive breadth of knowledge to the historical aspects of the mystery and a sharp sense of immediacy to its action.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“One of the hottest debut authors of 2013 . . . [a] taut international thriller that races from San Francisco to Lancet’s adopted hometown of Tokyo. . . . J. J. Abrams of ‘Lost’ fame recently bought the TV rights to the book.”
—Suspense Magazine

“Engrossing . . . Japantown is full of action and surprises . . . an extremely impressive debut that is almost sure to be short-listed for any number of awards next year. Pick it up now to see what all the excitement will be about.”

“Although I have studied Japanese for 30 years, I was kept guessing until the very end. Those with little knowledge of things Japanese will nonetheless be kept in suspense by the twists and turns of the underlying story – and edified and entertained along the way.”
—Washington Independent Review of Books

“This is a terrific debut from a talented and very promising writer.  Nimbly written and atmospheric. Lancet … depicts a rich mixture of art and violence, the past and the present, east and west.”
—T. Jefferson Parker, NYT Bestselling Author of The Famous and the Dead, and The Jaguar

“An elegantly brutal thriller, Japantown is reminiscent of classic Daniel Silva and Barry Eisler.  Lancet’s unique background bleeds authenticity into the story. Japantown is a bold and exciting debut. Don’t miss it.”
—J. T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author

“From gritty San Francisco to exotic Tokyo, Japantown is a whip-smart, razor-fast ride, and entertaining from cover to cover.”
—Taylor Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of The Informationist


BARRY LANCET’s first mystery/thriller, JAPANTOWN, was selected as a Best Book of 2013 by Suspense Magazine and has been optioned by J. J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, in association with Warner Bros.

Lancet moved from California to Tokyo in his twenties, where he has lived for more than two decades.  He spent twenty-five years working for one of the country’s largest publishers, developing books on dozens of Japanese subjects from art to Zen—all in English and all distributed in the United States, Europe, and the rest of the world.

His unique position gave him access to many inner circles in cultural, business, and traditional fields most outsiders are never granted.  Early in his tenure in the Japanese capital, he was hauled in by the police for a non-criminal infraction and interrogated for three hours, one of the most heated psychological encounters he had faced in Japan to that point.  The run-in fascinated him and sparked the idea for a thriller based on his growing number of unusual experiences in Japan.

The second in the Jim Brodie series, TOKYO KILL, is due in September 2014.  Lancet is based in Japan.  Visit his website at or look for him on Twitter or Facebook.