This first novel of a trip that goes horribly wrong is so extraordinarily accomplished that it must be bestseller-bound. Although comparable to The Beach, an even wider readership is likely to enjoy its sinister plot. Two moderately innocent girls who are best friends (despite a repressed battle of wills) take their backpacks and marijuana habit to India in search of free-spirited adventure that ultimately lures them into danger. Each small detail becomes significant in the 'alienness' of a foreign land as a strange woman intrudes on the festering friendship. Only one girl returns home, haunted by the confusion of what happened at the mysterious shrine associated with fire and driven to find the truth. With the power of a riveting opening paragraph and surprise ending, this is a debut to get excited about.