The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian

Wed, 04/22/2020 - 11:39am -- JGranatino

Alexis, an ER doctor, is on a vacation trip with her cycling enthusiast boyfriend Austin in Vietnam. While she lounges beside the pool, he sets off on an extended solo ride, presumably to pay homage to his uncle, killed in the Vietnam War, and his father, who was seriously wounded during the conflict. Hours pass, and Alexis has had no word from Austin although she has texted him several times. Soon the Vietnamese police, the FBI and the State Department are combing the hills for any sign of him or his bicycle. Meanwhile, the reader finds out Austin’s fate and is given a clue as to his real reason for the trip; Austin works in the same research hospital as Alexis, and is collaborating with someone in the lab to smuggle contraband in the form of a biological weapon designed to spread a bacteria-resistant plague to the highest bidder. A grieving Alexis is pulled into the mystery surrounding Austin’s death, and is now in danger herself as she uses her “detective skills” learned in medical school to uncover the circumstances behind his now-obvious murder. An eerie, timely thriller as we practice self-distancing from COVID-19.

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