The sleepy Himalayan hill station of Mussoorie, near India's border with Tibet, is home to an eclectic mix of residents including Tibetan refugees and former guerrilla fighters, foreign missionaries, Indian military, tourists, and spies. Here, in a top secret facility facing the snow-clad Himalayas, India's legendary spymaster, Colonel Imtiaz Afridi, keeps a watchful eye on sensitive high-altitude borders. Having been a mountaineer in his youth, Afridi once climbed many of these peaks, including Rataban, a mountain with a treacherous history. When an American agent is shot dead in Mussoorie, both the CIA and India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), dispatch undercover agents to investigate. The American's death is quickly linked to the slayings of two Indo-Tibetan Border Police guards, suggesting possible Chinese infiltration. Working with Afridi is the brilliant junior analyst, Annapurna "Anna" Tagore, who helps him unravel these clues and other disturbing signs that something dangerous is brewing.
When more violent acts shatter Mussoorie's calm, the CIA and RAW have no choice but to team up. Soon Afridi and the young Indian and American agents are piecing together a bloody conspiracy of revenge and murder that could shake the very foundations of world peace.
Published2 January 2018
Dimensions5.50 x 8.25in.
About the author
Stephen Alter is the author of fifteen previous works, including Becoming a Mountain, winner of the 2015 Kekoo Naoroji Book Award for Himalayan Literature. His other honors include a Guggenheim fellowship and a Fulbright award. He was writer in residence for ten years at MIT and directed the writing program at the American University in Cairo. He is founding director of the Mussoorie Writers’ Mountain Festival and resides with his wife in Mussoorie, India.
"Stephen Alter catches all the beauty, mystery, and danger of life as this sweeping thriller unfolds in the shadow of the Himalayas. Death comes in many guises in the tight community of Mussoorie, where spies and terrorists collide, and you can't always tell one from the other. Brilliant." Kit Reed, author of WHERE and The Story Until Now
"An engaging international thriller. . . . [Alter] employs the colorful setting like a character, reveling in its heights and shadows as well as its dark history and legend. He knows how to keep things zipping along and dial up tension." Kirkus Reviews
"Unputdownable from the very first page . . . A sure-shot page-turner." Jet Wings (Jet Airways in-flight magazine)
"A fiercely intelligent thriller [that] maintains a frenetic pace throughout." Sunday Guardian (India)
"Not just a spy thriller but a cultural essay and an astute observation of the human psyche." Deccan Herald (India)
"A high-altitude thriller! Explosive . . . ready for celluloid." Vishal Bhardwaj, Bollywood star