THE ASSASSIN LOTUS
Extraordinary acts of physical courage and self-sacrifice defy human instinct and logic. What is it that allows a man to overcome his fear? Is it faith? Love? Simple self-control? Or the triggering of some neurological override in the brain? Might the trance-like mindset of the brave be akin to the transcendent state of yogis and mystics?
Jack Duran, a young American travel guide indulging a broken heart in Rome, never thought the lotus plant he grew from a seed was anything more than just another pretty flower. But when it draws the attention of a visiting Indian businesswoman, men with knives soon arrive wreaking bloody havoc. The lotus, it turns out, holds a long-coveted secret, a mystery harking back to the birth of Hinduism and Buddhism—and the unholy hidden roots of Islamic terrorism.
Pursued by a fanatical Islamist assassin, Jack flees Rome in search of the man who sent the mysterious seed, the paleoethnobotanist Daniel J. Duran, a notorious and shadowy researcher who happens to be Jack’s brother. Together with Jack’s lost love, the alluring Dutch archeologist Phoebe Auerbach, Dan has vanished into the wilds of Central Asia.
Following their treacherous trail along the storied Silk Road, from the black waters of the Caspian to the blazing sands of the Karakum, from the crooked alleys of Bukhara to the celestial mosques of Samarkand, Jack eludes a fatal web of ruthless spies and killers to uncover a long-lost secret of enlightenment—and battle the resurgence of an age-old terror.