Author: Daniel Easterman
Original language: Russian
An international thriller in the classic tradition by the author of “The Seventh Sanctuary”, this story follows the trail of murder and mystery initiated by the kidnapping of a young man. His father’s search leads him to Mongolia and an encounter with the goddess Chindamani.
From Publishers Weekly
East collides with West–on a battlefield drawn along political, religious and metaphysical lines–in this superior, offbeat thriller set mainly in India, Tibet and Mongolia in 1921. When his 10-year-old son William is kidnapped at knifepoint, semi-retired British intelligence agent Christopher Wylam embarks on a nightmarish search that leads him to a gilded Tibetan monastery complex high in the mountains. William’s abduction is bizarrely linked to a prophecy that an incarnation of the Buddha will become rightful ruler of Mongolia and the world. Bolshevik agents and White Russians want control of the young future potentate; so do Tibetan lamas and the British. The plot turns on reincarnation at a couple of key points, yet Easterman ( The Last Assassin ; The Seventh Sanctuary ) provides a cultural context that lends credibility. Christopher’s tragic romance with Chindamani, a small, delicate woman whose body sometimes serves as vehicle for an incarnating goddess, makes for erotic, spiritual love scenes. To write about the exotic East without romanticizing is difficult enough, but Easterman goes one better: his suspenseful, beautifully written novel attains some kind of wisdom, an exceedingly rare achievement in an adventure-thriller.