Mark Harmon may be a few years removed from playing Leroy Jethro Gibbs, but he’s forever part of the NCIS family. The actor is still credited as an executive producer on the show, and his latest endeavor, a nonfiction book titled Ghosts of Honolulu, is actually a covert reunion between the actor and an unsung member of the NCIS team.
The appeal of Ghosts of Honolulu lies in its subtitle: A Japanese Spy, A Japanese American Spy Hunter, and the Untold Story of Pearl Harbor. The book details the fascinating, intersecting true stories of Japanese American agent Douglas Wada and Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa before the fateful events of December 7, 1941. It sounds like an elaborate prequel to the naval cases that Harmon solved on NCIS, and that’s because it somewhat is.
Ghosts of Honolulu was co-written by Harmon and Leon Carroll. The latter is less famous than his TV star counterpart, but his career and his importance to the NCIS franchise cannot be overstated. Carroll is a former NCIS special agent who served as an advisor on the show during its early years. It was Carroll who taught Harmon about the history of the agency, and its importance within the larger framework of American security.
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“I’ve been with [Leon] for 20 years, every day on the show”, Harmon told FOX News. “There was never an interrogation scene on that show that I didn’t talk to him about. … I had so much respect for the job this man did in the real world, the real NCIS. And we always talked about that.” When it came time to write Ghosts of Honolulu, the actor was adamant that Carroll be brought on as his co-author.
“There was a moment at some point in time fairly recently where this opportunity [to write the book] came forward”, Harmon revealed. “And I basically said I would not touch this without having Leon Carroll be part of it.” Outside of the obvious coup of having an NCIS agent help with the terms and the timelines of the story, Harmon saw Ghosts of Honolulu as an opportunity to bring things full circle:
"“For us now, to take a 20-year relationship, a daily 20-year relationship, and now turn this back into telling the real story of the agency and talking to two agents and individuals, who never before have been asked to speak of what we’re asking them about, has been a treat.”"
Harmon may not have plans to return to the show anytime soon, but he’s clearly invested in the world of naval law, and Ghosts of Honolulu seems like a perfect way of extending his NCIS legacy.
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