The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian

Description

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Flight Attendant comes a twisting story of love and deceit: an American man vanishes on a rural road in Vietnam, and his girlfriend, an emergency room doctor trained to ask questions, follows a path that leads her home to the very hospital where they met.

The first time Alexis saw Austin, it was a Saturday night. Not in a bar, but in the emergency room where Alexis sutured a bullet wound in Austin’s arm. Six months later, on the brink of falling in love, they travel to Vietnam on a bike tour so that Austin can show her his passion for cycling and he can pay his respects to the place where his father and uncle fought in the war. But as Alexis sips white wine and waits at the hotel for him to return from his solo ride, two men emerge from the tall grass and Austin vanishes into thin air. The only clue he leaves behind is a bright yellow energy gel dropped on the road. As Alexis grapples with this bewildering loss, and deals with the FBI, Austin’s prickly family, and her colleagues at the hospital, Alexis uncovers a series of strange lies that force her to wonder: Where did Austin go? Why did he really bring her to Vietnam? And how much danger has he left her in? Set amidst the adrenaline-fueled world of the emergency room, The Red Lotus is a global thriller about those who dedicate their lives to saving people, and those who peddle death to the highest bidder.

Chris Bohjalian is one of my very favorite authors. He writes wonderfully and yet is the most humble person in real life. I was excited to snag his latest from Net Galley. This was a suspenseful thriller and I think it would make an awesome movie. I couldn’t put it down. It was rather sad in parts, because one of Bohjalian’s gifts as a writer is to make the story realistic. The characters stayed with me long after I was done reading.

Thank you, Doubleday, for my ARC! This novel publishes on 3/17.

Just a note: I read this a few months back, well before the corona virus was headlining everywhere. This story involves what I’ll call “illness and epidemic”, so just putting that out there as a trigger given the current situation.

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