The Second Rule of Ten: A Tenzing Norbu Mystery. Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay. Published by Hay House, Inc. January 2013. 352 pp. pbk. ISBN #: 9781401941024.
Tenzing Norbu, a/k/a Ten, is at it again, struggling to hold onto the Buddhist practices he learned as a child and constantly frustrated by his life as an unlicensed private investigator. Ten's father was a Buddhist monk living in India at the same monastery as the Dalai Llama, but Ten's mother died after a long battle with a very worldly life. Ten's father seemed constantly displeased and angry with Ten after Ten's mother abandoned them. Ten has spent his entire life trying to move past that rejection and the internal messages it left that keep recycling in his relationships and career. Meditation helps keep him sane but not much beyond that although Ten believes there is so much more that could free him and change the rut he is so very aware is constantly lurking within.
Then a Hollywood mogul hires Ten to find his daughter, a task that is easy to accomplish, but a week later Marv Rudolph is found dead. Since Ten's no long a member of the police force, he's technically not supposed to get involved he does. But watching his stressed out buddy fail to come to any substantial solutions as to the murderer, Ten secretly begins to investigate, all the time trying to keep the second rule of resisting the patterns of past betrayals. That seems to work double-time as Marv Rudolph betrayed almost everyone with whom he came in contact and they in turn betrayed and then killed the film producer.
Ironically, Ten gets pulled into a second mystery involving a search for the sister, Sadie, sister of Julius Rosen; Sadie disappeared during the Holocause. It turns out that there's something about gang-related activity going on here which it takes some hair-raising spins and turns for Ten to figure out. In the meantime, he almost loses his best friend, a cop, but gains a wonderful woman, Heather as a girlfriend.
There's plenty of action albeit some repetition of Ten's stressed out feelings and attempts to clear out the mental garbage, but through it all Ten finally decides to come to terms with his father in a series of shocking scenes involving two good monk friends in India. It leaves enough unsaid that is obviously a hook to prepare the reader for what will probably be a third Tenzing Norbu mystery. Besides being a great crime thriller novel, The Second Rule of Ten has something to say to those who spend a huge amount of time reacting from past patterns rather than acting in the present moment. Nice job, Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay!