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The Red Lotus: Book summary and reviews of The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian

The Red Lotus

by Chris Bohjalian

The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian X
The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian
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  • Published Mar 2020
    400 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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About this book

Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] diabolical plot reminiscent of a Robin Cook thriller. Each character, including secondary players, is carefully drawn, and Bohjalian keeps the tension high all the way to the surprising finale. Bohjalian's many fans and newcomers alike will be satisfied." - Publishers Weekly

"[A] breathless thriller...Abetted by shifting points of view, seemingly disparate elements eventually converge to create a burgeoning sense of dread...Bohjalian manages to keep us guessing and turning pages until the very end." - Kirkus Reviews

"Best-selling author Bohjalian 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." - Library Journal

"In this tightly drawn, steadily hair-raising thriller, Bohjalian once again demonstrates his keen affinity for strong, capable female protagonists, while his masterful merging of setting and plot delivers a cerebral and dramatic dive into what happens when love turns to agony." - Booklist

This information about The Red Lotus was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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techeditor

Almost no one is who they seem
I can’t speak highly enough of THE RED LOTUS.

?If your preferred genre is thriller but so many books billed as "psychological thriller" don’t do much for you, if you want a literary thriller and one that is intelligent, THE RED LOTUS is for you. This book is a 5-star can’t-put-it-down read, and Chris Bohjalian obviously assumes his readers are smart.

Alexis, an ER doctor, and her boyfriend Austin, who works at the same hospital but on the administrative end, are visiting Vietnam on a bike tour. When Austin takes off for a solo bike ride but does not return by the appointed time, police in Vietnam begin their investigation. Soon thereafter Austin’s body is found, and a thrilling mystery begins.

Even after Alexis returns to the United States, the police captain in Vietnam continues his investigation. But Alexis can’t just sit and wait; she hires a private investigator to look into what happened and why.

Remember as you read this: almost no one is who they seem.

Sandi W.

all are always so different...
One of the things I really enjoy about Bohjalians's books is that they are always so different and all are so well researched. You are never sure what topic he will be writing about next.

Normally I am very fond of Bohjalian's topics and story lines. However in this book, not so much! There is an animal in this book that I don't particularly care for and it was written about over and over again. Don't get me wrong, the mention of this animal was pertinent to the story, it just gave me the creeps.

So this was not a favorite Bohjalian read. The story was well put together. His research was spot on. The characters were believable. But the animal used throughout the story was too often and too vividly written for me to really enjoy the book.

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Author Information

Chris Bohjalian Author Biography

Chris Bohjalian is the author of twenty books, including The Guest Room; Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands; The Sandcastle Girls; Skeletons at the Feast; The Double Bind; and Midwives which was a number one New York Times bestseller and a selection of Oprah's Book Club. Chris's work has been translated into more than thirty languages, and three novels have become movies (Secrets of Eden, Midwives, and Past the Bleachers). Chris lives in Vermont and can be found at www.chrisbohjalian.com or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Litsy, and Goodreads.

Author Interview
Link to Chris Bohjalian's Website

Name Pronunciation
Chris Bohjalian: boh-ZHAHL-ee-yen

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