Thursday, June 14, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Military Orders by Martin Roth

This is the story of what happens when Dr. Jeremiah Raphael Harel, a California University art professor, searches to understand why his brother Matt was killed in Dharamsala, Northern India. Matt had been a Christian missionary in Dharamsala where he lived with his wife and child. Luckily, Matt's wife, Sue, was in the states to have their second child when the attack occurred. Harel goes to Dharamsala at the request of Sue and his parents to get details about the killing and to clear Matt's name. The police claimed Matt had stolen Tibetan religious antiquities and smuggled them out of the country.

Rather than clear Matt's name, it's not long before Harel is attacked and also suspected of being involved in the smuggling of antiquities. The police tell him to leave the country or be arrested. He leaves, but now he must clear his name, too. The only thing significant he learned before being booted out was that Matt had been asking questions about the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. (The book is set in the future, two years after the death of the Dalai Lama.) Based on what Harel had learned from a former student who was now studying to be a Tibetan Buddhist priest, the reincarnation was expected to happen in Australia.

Harel goes to Australia, along with many other characters, both good and bad, and the action gets more intense. The story involves Chinese, Korean, Australian, American and Indian characters. We get a look at Buddhism, militaristic Christians, the making of a Bollywood movie and Aboriginal art. Characters include Buddhist priests, Christian missionaries, academics and students. I enjoyed learning details about a variety of subjects, but mostly I liked following the characters along the emotional roller coaster on the way to the conclusion.


  1. This sounds like a good one! I downloaded it a week or two ago. Will have to bump it to the top of my reading list. :-) Thanks for the info.

  2. Sounds great! I don't read fiction often, but it sounds like one I should read soon. :) Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for checking in Lisa and Shelley. It is a book that's hard to put down.

  4. What a great storyline and who doesn't love conflict--plenty of conflict! Sounds like a great read!