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May 24, 2020

The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"And maybe it was those two words - anything's possible - but another revelation was beginning to appear through the mist in her mind, racing like a distant corsair on the horizon, and just as unnerving.   This one, however, didn't strike her as quite so delusional...'Austin did lie.  But he lied because he needed an excuse to come here.  To come to this part of Vietnam.'"  (page 88)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

March 2020; Doubleday; 978-0385544801
audio, ebook, print (400 pages); thriller
Chris Bohjalian is one of those few authors whose books I will buy before I know anything about it.  I've read most of his books and they have all had 4 or 5-star ratings.  Once again he brings his readers a book that is hard to put down with characters who are well written and unforgettable.  The setting in  Vietnam was beautifully described and I could see how beautiful it was through his descriptions.

Alexis, an ER doctor,  is in Vietnam with her boyfriend Austin on a bike riding tour.  Near the end of the tour, Austin wants to ride alone to go to the area where his uncle was killed and his father was injured during the Vietnam war.  Alexis gets more worried the later it gets but Austin doesn't return to the hotel.  She and the tour guides call the police and the embassy and they all get involved with his disappearance.   When they find his body, Alexis is distraught but after she identifies his body she begins to question what really happened to him.  Was Austin a boyfriend who wanted to bicycle in Vietnam or were there sinister reasons behind the reason for this trip?  Did he truly care about Alexis or was his life full of lies and cover-ups?  When Alexis gets back to the US and continues her search for clues,  she realizes that she, too, is in danger.  Will she find out the answers to Austin's death or will she be killed before she understands why he died? It's a global thriller that will have the reader anxious to find out what happened.

This would have had a 4.5-star rating from me.  I made it a 4 because of the rats.  I know the information about the rats was crucial to the story but it just totally freaked me out to learn more about rats than I ever wanted to know.

One additional comment about this author -- he writes the best female characters than almost any male authors currently publishing.  His main female character is entirely believable - flaws and all.  I cried with her and felt her pain and confusion and she is not a character that I'll soon forget.

If you want a great book to read during the current pandemic, The Red Lotus is a thriller that you don't want to miss.

Buy The Red Lotus at Amazon

Other Books by Chris Bohjalian that I've enjoyed:

The Flight Attendant: Read my review.

The Guest Room: Read my review.

The Sleepwalker: Read my review.

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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