Tubten Norbu wants nothing. Literally. Not death. That doesn’t solve anything. With death you just have to do it all over again. No, what he wants is dissolution into the cosmic void: nirvana. And with the thangka and its four mystic incantations maybe he had what he needed to get there. Until someone stole it.
Brian Ericson, on the other hand, wants it all. Sex, money and everything samsara has to offer. So when the opportunity presents itself in the shape of Aurelie Chaumet, Brian can’t say ‘no’ and his friend Edward Fuller can’t stop him. Aurelie, however, is less interested in Brian’s body than his mind. Not that he’s any great intellect, he just happens to know about nuclear weapons and, in 1958, as France struggles to build its first atomic bomb, that’s interesting. Especially if you’re working for the French Secret Service.
And then there’s Edward’s son, David. For reasons best known to himself, all he wants is a plague of locusts to devour his school garden and the magic to make it happen.
But as the Devil would say: Be careful what you wish for.