“An erudite thriller that confronts the recent history of the ancient Himalayan cultures with unflinching honesty and considerable excitement. A damn good read.” —John Burdett, bestselling author of Bangkok 8
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.
A summit is a summit, and the truth is the truth. But the view from 8,848 meters isn’t always so clear. Two men, seventy years apart, push for the top of Mount Everest, driven by forces beyond their control and something inside that says climb.
After eight successful summits, Mount Everest guide Neil Quinn is confident he can handle anything the mountain throws his way. But then disaster strikes steps from the top, leaving him with a lot of questions and a very old swastika-embellished ice axe that should never have been so high on the mountain—not if Everest’s meticulously documented history is accurate.
But before Quinn can even catch his breath, the combined wrath of his vengeful employer and an angry client drives him out of the Himalayas and back to Europe, where the newly blackballed English guide struggles to make ends meet and discover the truth of what happened that fateful day. He soon uncovers the story of Josef Becker, a Nazi climber who sought the top of the world seventy years before, when Europe teetered on the brink of the Second World War.
Quinn’s innocent queries into Becker’s expedition soon have neo-Nazis, assassins, and history buffs vying to take possession of the axe—proof of Nazi alpine superiority, and strong evidence that a German climber was the first to summit Mount Everest.
Beautifully written and meticulously researched, Summit follows two climbers across two continents as their stories and movements intertwine across history, culminating in one final push for the top of the world.