Three hundred years earlier the great Moghul Khan Shaista abruptly abandoned his post in the same city. The Khan's youngest and favorite daughter had succumbed to disease and the grief stricken Khan fled the country, but not - it is believed - before burying a treasure as a memorial to her short life.
For three centuries fortune hunters have searched for the rumored treasure but Brown has an advantage. As an accessory to a pretentious name he's taken on a pretentious hobby: collecting antiquarian maps. Initially unaware of the importance of the information on one of his maps, Brown sets in motion events that bring him closer to the treasure, but also attract the competitive attention of six brutal castoffs of an Indian intelligence service. Before the dust settles, two men have been beheaded, another skinned, a bystander strangled and two more fatally shot.
With wit and irreverence, the book chronicles the journey of a man whose outward self-assurance and brashness mask wavering self-regard. As Brown acknowledges, it's a full time job keeping up appearances.
Throughout, Professor Brown is our acerbic guide to: an unholy war, college campuses in the 70's, a university exhibiting signs of tenure-induced rigor mortis, a Thai brothel, the watering holes of Europe, and life in the bottom-most percentile of the third world.
About the author
Michael Bernhart is an award winning author (none of the awards for writing, but it's still early days) who has published extensively on international development and public health - primarily service quality. His credentials for this written outpouring are a PhD (from MIT!) and four decades of international work - currently 50 countries and counting.The journey from writing funding proposals to writing pure fiction was short and easy. The result is the Max Brown tetralogy which traces the arc (from age 10 through 66) of a man who tries to be proactive, but whose behavior is driven by external events. Each of the four novels finds Max struggling with a new existential crisis - or crises - as he grows up in these trying times. Manhood used to be a birthright; now it seems to be an unending series of challenges.Dr. (why not use it?) Bernhart started this project before the internet could serve up virtual experiences to authors. The contextual information and situations come from service as a pilot in the USAF, living in Asia, Europe and Latin America, and inexplicable success at snaring women well out of his league. These remarkable similarities with the main character noted, he insists the work is not autobiographical. It's wish fulfillment.Bernhart currently lives in a yurt on a mountaintop in northern Georgia with one ex-wife, two daughters, and three cats. He still flies his vintage plane, although more cautiously than before, and he's unshakeable in his conviction that he's God's Gift to Aviation. He keeps a shotgun, not a pistol for home defense (read the books; you'll see why).