Prayer of the Dragon
Soho, Dec 2007, $24.00
In a secret lamasery high in the Tibetan Himalayas Sleeping Dragon Mountain near the village of Drango the monks summon former Beijing special investigator Shan, who lives nearby having escaped from imprisonment. He and his close friends Lokesh and Gendun are shown two mutilated corpses whose arms were removed and an unconscious stranger, who is not Tibetan, Chinese, or Nepalese lying nearby. The monks want to execute the comatose man believing he killed and eviscerated the victims. The former People’s Republic of China detective convinces the monks to give him some time to investigate and learn the truth.
He knows he must solve the case fast as every moment the stranger lives places the monks in jeopardy. Shan learns the survivor of the tragedy is an American Navajo who accompanied by his niece seeks the ancient ties between Tibetan Buddhism and his people’s belief in Bon. As Shana and his two Lama pals continue their inquiries, the trio will soon be shocked by the evil connection between their ancient belief systems and the cynicism of the modern world.
The Shan mysteries are some of the best written as the audience will feel they are on top of the world (see BONE MOUNTAIN, THE SKULL MANTRA and BEAUTIFUL GHOSTS). The investigation is cleverly designed so that the reader obtains a strong whodunit, but also a deep look at life in Tibet especially at a lamasery. This is another winner with the added bonus of the connection between Tibetan Buddhism and the Navaho religion.