The Karma Factor – When Genres Collide

Thomas Lane - Photo courtesy of author
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Thomas Lane, author of THE KARMA FACTOR, is clearly a complex individual with a foot – no, five separate toes – in different dimensions. On the surface, THE KARMA FACTOR is about NYPD detective James Early and his search for meaning and understanding in a multifaceted world. But who is Early, and why do images of Tibet keep racing through his mind? And what of Palden, who guides the orphan Tashi to his fate? Who is Usha, and what is her relationship to Desda? More importantly, how is it that a barrage of machine gun bullets fired point-blank into Early’s chest somehow misses? These are just some of the secrets which Lane posits and skillfully explores.

Book Jacket – Photo courtesy of Waterside Productions

Author, poet, and musician Thomas Lane debuts his first novel, a work of visionary fiction exploring the boundaries of human consciousness within a classic suspense thriller. Born in Connecticut, Lane was raised in a culture of scholarship and critical thought by his educated and academically astute parents. He attended a Quaker boarding school in Pennsylvania and was elected captain of the basketball team and class president. Blessed with a high-voltage imagination, he joined the burgeoning folk scene in Greenwich Village. A passionate supporter of civil rights in the ‘60s, he also became interested in eastern philosophy. His resume was novel and varied, including teaching at a nursery school, road-managing an iconic music group, selling jewelry on city sidewalks, and working at the Renaissance Faire. Finally, his multiple paths coalesced, and he wrote his spiritual thriller, THE KARMA FACTOR.

The novel’s plot is complicated and intriguing, a combination of science fiction, mystery/thriller, and philosophic treatise. Lane weaves together past, present, and future in a time-travel fantasy with hints of reincarnation and unexplored dimensions. Yet, at the same time, THE KARMA FACTOR is rooted in a real-life drama of mayhem and murder. For this is also the story of Malcom, a cunning, America-hating assassin with generations of death at his hand. Who will be his current target – and why? Will Early be able to stop this ruthless killer? And surrounding these twists and turns is the broader question: what is Karma? Why does the prophetic monk Palden describe karma as “an instructive thing…if a person has the courage and stamina to listen.” While all of this is going on, don’t forget to keep your eye on the white Bengal tiger.

THE KARMA FACTOR will appeal to aficionados of detective mysteries – but also to lovers of scifi with a dash of Buddhist philosophy thrown in. There is never a dull moment in this philosophical whodunit that hops dimensions, points in time, and even people. To paraphrase Robert Thurman, Professor Emeritus of Tibetan Buddhism, “Tom Lane has written a powerful story of inner transformation and outer suspense and heroism that will have you turning pages.”

Copyrighted in 2023 by Thomas Lane and published by Waterside Productions, THE KARMA FACTOR is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  


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