The Red Lotus

Doubleday. Mar. 2020. 400p. ISBN 9780385544801. $27.95. SUSPENSE
Alexis and Austin have been dating for months when he suggests they go on a bike tour in Vietnam. Austin is not only a cycling enthusiast, he also wants to visit the site where his uncle was killed in the war. After days of being with the tour group, Austin sets off for his solo journey on the Hai Van Pass. When he doesn’t return to the hotel, Alexis knows something dire has happened. What at first appears to be a tragic hit-and-run case slowly descends into something much more wicked and far-reaching. As more of Austin’s lies are exposed, Alexis wonders what his true purpose was for coming to Vietnam. And instead of grieving a lost lover, she goes all in, even hiring a private detective (himself a Vietnam veteran) to investigate Austin’s death.
VERDICT Best-selling author Bohjalian (The Flight Attendant) paints a bleak picture of pharmaceutical espionage, worldwide pandemics, and the breathtaking adaptability of the rat. Alternating action between Vietnam and New York, along with the dynamic pace, will please suspense fans. [See Prepub Alert, 8/25/19.]
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