Perhaps Chris Bohjalian s best thriller ever, this novel starts with a simple missing person situation and grows into an international biological warfare tangle It is a terrific read, with suspense like something out of Hitchcock, surprises for characters and readers alike, and one of the nastiest bad guys I ve encountered in years Three things make this book exceptional, and than an ordinary thriller The first is the setting, as much of the novel takes place in Vietnam which is rendered so vividly, you feel the humidity Second, the attention to detail, especially when it comes to minor characters, so that everyone in this book feels like a living person And third, toward the end there is an unexpected revelation of the book s big heartedness, so that right in the middle of the climax you find yourself feeling deeply for the characters and their whole predicament I read an advance review edition of this novel thank you, Doubleday , which is not out till March, and urge you to pre order It s that good. 3.5 starsI originally thought I had never read anything written by Chris Bohjalian but then it dawned on me I read Midwives many, many years ago Thanks Oprah for the recommendation And since I enjoyed The Red Lotus and that book, I need to make sure next time I don t let twenty years go by in between reading his books.Alexis is working as an emergency room doctor when she meets a man named Austin He arrives at the hospital with a bullet wound in his arm, she fixes him up, and soon after they start dating About six months into the relationship they take a trip to Vietnam, where Austin wants to pay his respects to the place his father fought during the war as well as where his uncle died But after embarking on a solo bike ride, Austin goes missing On her quest to find answers, Alexis soon discovers her boyfriend might not be the most honest person in the world Alexis might be putting herself in danger if she continues to seek out the truth and uncover the lies.So first of all I would like to commend the publisher for not giving away too much in the synopsis It was nice to go into a book not knowing too much ahead of time and therefore I was actually surprised when the story took a few turns The story follows multiple characters but it s fair to say Alexis is the main character She s not my favorite female lead ever but the author did give her a bit of a backstory so that gave her some depth She just wasn t a character I particularly liked but that wasn t necessary in order to be interested in her search for the truth My only real criticism about the book is I don t think Austin was a fully fleshed out character I felt like my simple question of why was never really answered.Without giving away spoilers, this book was different from the typical missing person stories I often read It s pretty much equal parts mystery as it is thriller The author explores some frightening but yet relevant topics in the book And for that reason this book would be a decent book club pick as there s lots of things to discuss about the story Overall a good read even if I had a few problems with the characters Definitely recommend checking this one out and I look forward to reading other books by the author.Thank you to Netgalley and Doubleday for providing me with an advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review Hours From The 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 MetThe 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 Instagram Twitter Facebook PinterestDNF p.100I read one hundred pages of this, hoping it would grab me but it never did Alexis and Austin met in the ER when Alexis removed a bullet wound from Austin s arm Six months later and they are dating and going on vacation to Vietnam to bicycle, and then Austin is accosted by strange men in the wilderness and disappears Alexis is in her hotel room, fretting and drinking wine, when she finds out that he s missing The narrative is just so slow paced and plodding I thought the scenes with Austin were better, and somewhat chilling, but they were spaced out too much and I hated Alexis This almost reads like a debut novel because the pacing is so weird, and I was really surprised to see that the author has actually published a whole bunch of stuff besides this I guess if you re into slower mysteries, this might work for you, but I was really bored.YMMV Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review 1.5 to 2 stars With today s coronavirus outbreak, and the Year of the Rat, this fiction book seemed relevant than I could have hoped Enjoyable, fast paced and engaging, Chris Bohjalian always delivers Full review to come on Book Nation by Jen. I liked The Flight Attendant, but this novel fell short for me Alexis is an ER doc who follows her boyfriend of six months to Viet Nam, where his uncle was killed and his father shot Austin is huge into cycling, so they go to Nam via a bike trip One day Austin goes alone and doesn t come back Everyone says he died in a hit and run, but Alexis has found clues that his death wasn t accidental The search for the truth about Austin s death is compelling since we readers know what happen, and the characters in the novel don t However, I never felt pulled into this story or its characters Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES MARCH 17, 2020. Alexis and Austin are on their first trip together in beautiful Vietnam Though they re on a bike tour with a group of tourists, Austin chooses to go it alone one day to pay homage to his uncle and father who served in the country When he isn t back hours after he should have been, Alexis starts to panic The police in Vietnam and the United States embassy quickly get involved when there s still no sign of Austin The next day, his body is found and it appears he was killed in a hit and run bike accident Alexis is an ER doctor and when she has to identify the body, she sees some indications on Austin s body that don t line up with a bike accident Back home and unable to properly mourn her boyfriend s unexpected death, Alexis starts to question that the death is accidental and takes it upon herself to investigate what really happened Super relevant and fast paced, I had a hard time putting this down I loved Alexis and the balance of her character we saw her weaknesses but she exudes a strength and power that was commendable I liked that this was a bit of a mix of thriller, mystery and sci fi and I m generally drawn to medical dramas This is definitely one to check out Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. This is exactly what a great mystery should be It is exciting, well researched, engaging and IMPOSSIBLE TO PUT DOWN A young ER doctor goes to Vietnam with her boyfriend on a biking trip What should be beautiful and restful quickly begins to unravel when Alexis boyfriend disappears Alexis earns about his lies and soon there is a trail of death surrounding this visit As she returns to NYC, pieces click into place as she begins to put together mysterious happenings right in her own hospital She is aided by a detective in trying to figure out what the trip was really about The reader gets to figure out who the bad guys are as this book goes on No cluesmystery lovers, you have to read this Thank you Netgalley for this absolutely perfect mystery After really enjoying The Flight Attendant a few years ago, I was excited to get my hands on the author s newest Sadly, I struggled to stay focused or engage with this one It was definitely a slow burn and just didn t work for me I was bored with the characters and really just wanted to finish skimming did occur and move on to a entertaining and engaging novel I actually had started reading and stopped several times before finishing Probably would have been better to d n f this one, but its hard for me to give up on a book I need to work on that.I do seem to be an outlier, so please read the higher reviews before deciding if this would be a winner for you.Thanks to NG and the publisher for my review copy. I am hit or miss with this author, I loved The Sandcastle Girls and Midwives , some of his earlier work This one fell short for me.The premise of this novel is extremely relevant to our times I will quote just a bit from the blurb from for this novel 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 This book does shine a light on some extremely frightening scenarios that felt all too real at times.Alexis is an ER doctor who has fallen in love with Austin, a man whom she met in the ER when he came in for a wound in his arm Alexis is the doctor who stitched him up, he claimed that the wound was from a drunk who was wildly brandishing a loaded weapon in a bar, when it went off it hit Austin in the arm Six months later Alexis and Austin are headed to Vietnam, he told her he wanted to visit the places where his father fought as well as his uncle, who ultimately perished in the war Austin is an extremely high level cyclist who has ridden many tours and so it wasn t seen as that unusual when he decides to take the last leg of the tour in a different direction However after several hours have gone by and he doesn t return, Alexis is certain that some harm has come to him.After much searching by Alexis and others they are about ready to give up on finding Austin either alive or dead The next day they find out why he disappeared but there are so many questions about the reasons why The police in Vietnam are ready to file this case away.Alexis isn t willing to accept this answer, she is sure that there is to this story She begins to understand that there is a lot about Austin that she doesn t know He worked in the same hospital as she does but in the research lab where many experiments are performed on rats It takes a lot of detective work on her part to finally unravel all of the secrets that Austin was hiding We meet some truly despicable characters, ruthless and evil but also a PI who joins Alexis in her hunt for the truth and is there for her when she needs him most Alexis fears for her own life because of what she begins to uncover.My problem with this novel is that it is extremely slow moving Three quarters of the book is taken up with repetitive ruminations about what Alexis is thinking and doing I was 70% into the book before it really engaged me I enjoy a novel with strong characters and a plot that keeps me interested and engaged throughout.I m sure that fans of Chris Bohjalian will enjoy this novel but for me it was a mediocre read, not bad but not memorable.I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.