When production designers Sharon Tanaka and Michael “Mikey” Dillman, both friends of Jim Brodie, were assassinated backstage at the Kennedy Center, Brodie couldn’t ignore their deaths. What he didn’t realize, though, was that their deaths were just the beginning of a much larger game.
Taken from Japan during her mother’s funeral–an event planned to lure her into the open–Anna Tanaka, a computer genius who developed a top-secret program for the NSA, is kidnapped and taken to North Korea. Brodie knows that the North Koreans will interrogate her, hoping to break her in order to obtain the information she has access to, which would be a nightmare for the American government in more ways than one.
Brodie, an antique dealer and Japan expert first, only moonlights as a private investigator in his spare time. Unlike past novels, though, where Brodie has faced legal obstacles, this time he’s brought to the White House and hired directly by the First Lady herself to look into the killings and get to the bottom of it.
After Anna’s abduction, Brodie follows her to North Korea, sneaking into the country only to find all kinds of trouble waiting for him.
After four books, Barry Lancet continues to elevate his series among other top franchises in the genre. Falling somewhere between Daniel Silva and Steve Berry, but with slightly more violence and explosive action sequences along the way, Lancet’s latest offering proves to be his most timely thriller so far. Most of the players involved in this novel have dominated recent headlines, making The Spy Across the Table (which deals with cyber security and potential threats from North Korea and China) feel increasingly more authentic and relevant with each passing news cycle.
On his way through a twisting and turning plot, Brodie encounters multiple bad guys, including a highly-skilled Chinese assassin. While the action is front and center for most of the book, Lancet continues to develop his characters quite nicely.
Though reduced to a small supporting role, Brodie’s girlfriend returns, along with her young daughter. While readers don’t see them all together much, Brodie is forced to consider them when confronting danger, adding an emotional element to the story, which also mixes in a fair amount of Asian politics.
Barry Lancet is one of the few authors who can entertain and teach you something at the same time, hooking readers deeper and deeper as the story unfolds. That, combined with the fact that Brodie confronts threats that are relevent in today’s world, makes The Spy Across the Table a whole lot of fun to read!
Author: Barry Lancet
Series: Jim Brodie #4
Pages: 448 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 7/10