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The Red Lotus

A dramatically chilling, tension-filled page-turner.



Alex, an ER doctor meets Austin for the first time on a Saturday night when he is brought into the emergency room with a bullet in his arm. Six months later they travel to Vietnam together, on a bike tour so the Austin can pay his respects to the place where his father and uncle fought in the Vietnam war. At least that’s what Austin told Alex.

As Alex waits for Austin at the hotel in Vietnam, she becomes increasingly alarmed when his does not return from his day of cycling at the expected time. He is not answering his phone and a search of his route yields little. He has vanished into thin air and the only evidence were two yellow packets of energy gel, found on the road that might have belonged to Austin. Alex calls the U. S. Embassy in Vietnam and soon discovers several lies that force her to question exactly what Alex was doing on that bike ride.


Once again, CHRIS BOHJALIAN has knocked the ball out of the park. THE RED LOTUS is a dramatically chilling page-turner. It’s well-written and smartly structured with shifting points of view, that will keep you guessing till the very end. Who is responsible for Austin’s disappearance? Why?

The story is tension-filled, poignant and timely and I couldn’t read it fast enough. I was so enthralled that I read this 400 page thriller all in one day.

Bohjalian has a delightful knack for writing strong but vulnerable women characters, Alex’s character is no different. She’s smart, suspicious and persistent in her search to find out what happened to Austin. But she is also grieving and struggling, and all of this together makes her come alive on the pages.

One of my favorite things about THE RED LOTUS is on several occasions in the story Bohjalian made me want to “learn more” about a word, phase or topic, so I found myself googling references. I absolutely love it when a book goes beyond being highly entertaining but is also (unintentionally, perhaps) educational as well.

Author CHRIS BOHJALIAN is the best-selling author of 21 books including most recently The Sleepwalker (2017) and The Flight Attendant (2018), which is being turned into a limited HBO television series staring Kaley Cuoco.

Thanks to Netgalley and Doubleday Books for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher Doubleday Books

Published March 17, 2020

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