December 6

A Novel

Paperback, 352 pages

English language

Published Aug. 12, 2008 by Pocket.

OCLC Number:

View on OpenLibrary

3 stars (1 review)

Amid the imperialist fervor of late 1941 Tokyo, Harry Niles is a man with a mission -- self-preservation. But Niles was raised by missionary parents and educated in the shadows of Tokyo's underworld -- making his loyalties as dubious as his business dealings. Now, on the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Niles must decide where his true allegiances lie, as he tries to juggle his Japanese mistress and an adulterous affair with the wife of a British diplomat; avoid a modern-day samurai who is honor-bound to kill him; and survive the machinations of the Japanese high command, whose plans for conquest may just dictate his survival. Set in a maelstrom of personal temptations and mortal enemies, with a remarkable anti-hero caught in a land he can never call his own

9 editions

Review of 'December 6' on Goodreads

3 stars

Set in Japan, 1941–two days before and the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor–it tells the story of Harry Niles, an American born, Japanese raised con-man/business owner, as he tries to ward off a possible war between the two countries that he's torn between.

On the one hand, this is a briskly-paced thriller, always keeping the reader interested, but never entirely sure of what's really going on. On the other, it's a wonderfully atmospheric and evocative picture of 1941 Japan, as well as flashbacks to Harry's youth in the 1920's. Smith, a veteran mystery writer of considerable literary skill, does this credible thriller justice as he spins his intriguing web of deception, revenge, betrayal, and love. It also has one of the most creative, non-clichéd uses of a gun as a plot device that I have ever read.

The strengths are the well-researched setting, the detailed narrative, the dialogue, …


  • Thrillers
  • Fiction / General
  • Fiction
  • Fiction - Espionage / Thriller