Murder in the High Himalaya

The Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The mountain of Cho Oyu lies nineteen miles east of Mt. Everest on the border between Tibet and Nepal and is frequently used as a warm-up climb for Everest-bound mountaineers.  For Tibetans it is much more – it is the pathway to freedom if they can make it.

Murder in the High Himalaya is an account of the brutal killing of a seventeen-year-old Tibetan nun.  Kelsang Namtso was fleeing across the Nangpa La when she was murdered by  Chinese border guards.  The murder was witnessed by dozens of Western climbers and the nun’s death sparked an international debate over China’s ongoing oppression of Tibet.

Jonathan Green’s glimpse into modern Tibet is a treat. The glimpses into climbing culture were particularly fascinating! In many ways, climbing is not what I thought it was – rough and rugged adventurers doing what few can.  The descriptions of the corporate business of mountain expeditions are quite interesting and shed a whole new perspective on mountaineering.

Reading about the Chinese domination of Tibet is disturbing. I was mindful as I was reading of the many regimes throughout the world that hold their people under tight control and what a nightmare that can be.

This was a terrific account of an actual event that reads like a novel! I look forward to the author’s next book.

Book Details: Published by PublicAffairs (June 1, 2010), 304 pages, ISBN: 1586487140

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