Friday, February 12, 2016

"Pacific Burn"

Barry Lancet's international thriller Japantown won the prestigious Barry Award for Best First Mystery Novel, and was selected by both Suspense Magazine and renowned mystery critic Oline Cogdill as one of the Best Debuts of the Year. His second book, Tokyo Kill, was a finalist for a Shamus Award for Best P.I. Novel of the Year and was selected as a must-read for Asian leaders by Forbes magazine.

Lancet applied the Page 69 Test to Pacific Burn, the third entry in the Jim Brodie series, and reported the following:
I was reaching out for the SIG when the agent with the silver hair yelled, “Touch it, I shoot.”

That’s the line sitting at the top page 69 of Pacific Burn.

In this scene, Brodie has flown to Washington, D.C., and is confronted by a joint task force of the CIA, FBI, and Homeland Security as he steps off the plane. He refuses to let them drag him away and lock him up without an explanation. A fight ensues, Brodie comes out on top in the first battle, reaches for a loose weapon, and guns are pointed. The war is far from over…

From Page 69:
I was reaching out for the SIG when the agent with the silver hair yelled, “Touch it, I shoot.”

I froze, half bent, hand outstretched, my fingers twelve inches from the pistol. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the man had his own metal trained on my chest. He was ten feet away. A no-brainer of a shot.

Moving only my head, I locked eyes with him. “Call off your man.”

“One more inch, Brodie—“

“Enough!” the first suit from the jetway said with authority. “Put it away, Swelley. Now.”

I craned my neck to catch a glimpse of the new speaker. His gun was pointed at Silver Hair. Swelley. Not a name I’d forget in this century.

With his free hand, the suit peeled off his shades. “I said stand down.” His voice projected unmistakable menace. And something more.

“We don’t answer to you,” Swelley hissed, squaring his shoulders, a fiery strength rippling through him.

“I’d like to stand,” I said. “I have no weapon. And we have an audience. A large audience.”

But no response was forthcoming, so I didn’t move.

Around the terminal, there were easily fifty witnesses. A few had cell phones raised and rolling in what I suspected was record mode, but I kept my gaze focused on Swelley. The feverish glint in his eyes told me I was in grave danger. Told me I was dealing with a fury disengaged from the man. A nearly independent force that could act on its own—to my detriment. If I wanted to get out of this alive, I needed Swelley to reel in more than his weapon.

I kept my eyes on him. I waited for my words to penetrate. It was a long tense moment, but finally I saw Swelley blink with deliberation. His expression clarified. The unanchored animosity retreated. My words had broken through. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of the fourth agent. His weapon was drawn and being held unobtrusively at his side—ready to go either way.
Much happened before this scene, and much more happens after. Brodie becomes embroiled in a case involving the mayor of San Francisco, the Japanese “nuclear mafia,” and rogue elements in the Far Eastern. When he digs too deeply, he hits a nerve and finds himself the target of a legendary assassin who works both side of the Pacific—and never leaves a contract unfulfilled.
Visit Barry Lancet's website.

--Marshal Zeringue