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Ghosts of the Hindu Kush

A mad mystic, an infamous German pilot, deadly assassins, and a world at war. As they journey to the most dangerous place on earth, the kid guardians of the Red Hand legend face their most epic adventure yet.


After crossing the treacherous waters of the Black Sea, young adventurers Tariq, Aseem, and Fez dock their small sailboat in the Russian port city of Rostov-on-Don. Armed only with a charmed map, a legendary journal, and the lessons learned from countless skirmishes around the globe, they search the city for the solution to a mysterious clue—the word “Marius” scribbled on a scrap of paper. Little do they know the word will send them into the custody of an enigmatic explorer…and on a journey into the most dangerous place on earth.


Meanwhile, Margaret and Inez find themselves caught in a European countryside ablaze with the first World War. As Inez battles the horrors of the front line medical tents, Margaret dogfights an infamous German airman and emerges as the Allied Powers’ most talented pilot. A political mission aims to reunite them with old friends in the Rif Mountains of Morocco, but all paths may ultimately lead to a mad Russian monk with supernatural powers. 


Facing their most difficult and exciting challenge yet, the group will need to rely on courage and determination as they cross a war-torn world, face deadly assassins, struggle to survive harsh landscapes, and work to fulfill the Red Hand prophecy.


The fifth installment of the award-winning Red Hand Series for middle-readers, Ghosts of the Hindu Kush takes you on an action-packed journey through cultures, locations, and true historical events via a diverse set of characters. Author Joe O’Neill, dubbed the “Ian Fleming of the middle reader set” by Kirkus Reviews, has crafted a fantastic, exotic, and electric tale that shows young readers—and adults with a taste for classical action—that no matter how humble your beginnings, bravery and cooperation can overcome any challenge. 


Ghosts of the Hindu Kush

  • Published October 12, 2021
    See the press release here.


    "O’Neill continues to work his magic. The ingredients are irresistible: spycraft, magic, international travels, cultural rituals, derring-do, fights...exotic locations, and many chances for the young characters to prove their courage, fortitude, cleverness, and resilience.... Another thrilling, well-woven adventure installment." – Kirkus Reviews


    “Spying, magic, battles, calls for courage, and exotic lands...all the elements are in place for a rollicking good read that defies the usual staid approach of the historical novel, spicing action with unexpected intrigue and fantasy elements. The result is both entertaining and educational, providing a thought-provoking adventure that incorporates moral and ethical conundrums over choices and consequences in a story that calls upon the young adventurers to step up to adulthood in many different ways.” 
    —Diane Donovan, Editor, Midwest Book Review


    "O’Neill ... goes beyond heroic adventure to deliver readers lessons in cross-cultural history, literature and ethics.

    Ensuring that his idealistic young characters confront moral dilemmas as well as physical danger, the author conveys to his readers the complicated motivations of decision making, as well as the potential long-term consequences of actions taken." —Barbara Lloyd McMichael, Bookmonger at Our Coast Magazine

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