Whilst searching a windswept mountainside for the fabled ghost moth fungus, a young Tibetan boy unearths a mysterious relic. Moments later the People’s Liberation Army of China marches into his isolated village in the valley below and begins to dismantle an ancient way of life. As the brutal oppression grows, the boy’s precious find becomes first a symbol of hope for the villagers then a tool of survival for a people and a religion. It must be preserved at all costs.
Sixty years later, mountain guide Neil Quinn is wrapping up his last climb of the season on the highest mountain in Tibet when a transport shortage leaves him stuck in an empty base camp. An earthquake sets off a chain of mysterious events that directly connect the English climber to the ongoing tragedies of a troubled land where the Chinese authorities strive still for complete control.
Unsure of precisely what he witnessed yet determined to protect its truth, Quinn returns to Kathmandu and enlists the help of a famous historian of the Himalayas, an erstwhile American journalist, and a cast of locals as enigmatic as that ancient city—each with their own reasons for joining his quest. Manipulation and murder dog their every step as they strive to piece together a complex puzzle from Tibet’s tortured past while navigating the treacherous present.
In 2014, English professional mountain guide Neil Quinn, the protagonist of this intriguing thriller from Farthing (Summit), is at his base camp on a mountain in Tibet when he sees Chinese soldiers kill three unarmed yak herders. Quinn captures the Tibetans' deaths on his iPhone, and emails the video to Henrietta Richards, a retired British embassy staffer who's lived in Kathmandu, Nepal, for decades. Back in Kathmandu, Quinn teams with Richards and an American freelance journalist to try to expose the truth in the face of the Chinese government's determined opposition. Their efforts lead them to wonder whether a shadowy group known as the ghost moths, which operated during the Cultural Revolution and fought the Chinese to protect Tibetans and their holy relics, is still at work. Farthing is particularly good at creating a memorable bad guy, a sadistic Chinese security officer whose nickname is Yama, the Tibetan Lord of Death. Fans of Eliot Pattison will want to check out this issues-driven thriller.