MOTIVATION for READING: I have always wanted to read a Bohjalian but always got stumped by which book to start first. And he keeps churnin’ em* out! So when J— told me she was reading The Red Lotus and thought it would be fun for a Pop-Up Book Club choice, I said,
But that was because I’ve already spent a bunch of cash on books when pandemic-ordering from favorite indie bookstores and have SO MANY BOOKS I NEED TO READ NOW. I was afraid to send more $$$ out to books when I have way-overblown by annual spend amount**. But that’s OK. I bought it.
WHAT’s it ABOUT: Rats. The plague as a weapon. An emergency room doctor who happens to have a cute fun boyfriend invite her tag along on a biking tour in Vietnam….
So Alexis (ER doc) has this cute boyfriend (the cyclist) and it is early in the relationship, early enough that no one has said, “I love you.” It’s good, it’s fun. Vacation trips are romantic. He has a sentimental reason for going to Vietnam. UNTIL WE ALL FIND OUT it is a LIE. Why would he lie? But then, we don’t find out about the lie until he goes missing.
But he LIED! But he is missing. NOT GOOD. Not good at all. So many things pointing to utter destruction…
THOUGHTS: Pacing is good. An appropriate amount of tension-build. A few clues but nothing to make me roll my eyes to distraction. Sure, a few convenient connections that almost produce an eye-roll, but I’m invested enough, so not quite annoyed, and then rolling along without annoyance I will let the little things slide. (THRILLERS ARE SO *NOT* MY THING) Heck, Mr B has an impressive vocabulary — he earns a few positive points. All the characters are likable and have admirable qualities presented in the perfect way to make me admire said characters. OR/AND, all the obvious villains are villainy …
I even got teary-eyed when the two Moms meet and overcome negative expectations! That scene worked and amused me at the same time.
Plausibly enough presented that I can overcome my doubts. So….
RATING: I gave it 4 stars in goodreads but rounded up from 3.5. NO PIE MENTIONED. Which, upon reflection, is just fine for a book about rats and the plague…
Still!! I should probably give it only 3 slices of pie because NO PIE!
* The font for author name is bigger than the font for the book title. If not careful, he might become an “AUTHOR I WON’T READ”… But he seems so nice on Twitter.
** annual spend — I don’t track this!! LOL