At the start of bestseller Foster's lighthearted techno-thriller (after 2006's The Candle of Distant Earth), runaway scientist Taneer Buthlahee and his gorgeous Untouchable lover, Depahli, are planning a marvelous life far from the city of Sagramunda, India—with the cash Taneer hopes to make on the stolen fruits of his mysterious research. To help broker the deal, Taneer hires fixer Sanjay Ghosh, a determined former farmer with big dreams of his own. Hot on Taneer's trail are a company operative with orders from Taneer's former employer to do whatever's necessary to get the stolen goods back, as well as Taneer's father, who's sworn to kill his son for dishonoring the family with his theft. Also along for the ride are a Hindu fundamentalist drug addict bent on offering plenty of sacrifices to her blood-loving goddess, the cop who's trying to catch her and a man-eating tiger. SF elements make colorful window dressing for this unpredictable thriller, whose multiple threads Foster juggles like the professional he is.