The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu – 20 years in print

Afghanistan India Iran Nepal Pakistan UK

My first novel, The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu, was published 20 years ago by Dragon’s Mouth Press in Hong Kong.

In 2012, it was republished by Crime Wave Press and in 2021, it was picked up by Next Chapter where it’s currently out as ebook, paperback, audio book and hardback. Xplora Editorial have published a Spanish language edition.

Last year, The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu was optioned to be filmed by 108 Productions.

Here’s a nice review by David W. Berner from the Writer’s Shed.

The Devil’s Road To Kathmandu is a tense, fast paced and kaleidoscopic pulp thriller, following the lives of two generations of drifters who become embroiled in a saga of sex, drugs and murder on the road between London and the Indian subcontinent. In 1976, four friends, Dan, Fred, Tim and Thierry, drive a bus along the hippy trail from London to Kathmandu. En Route in Pakistan, a drug deal goes badly wrong, yet the boys escape with their lives and the narcotics. Thousands of kilometers, numerous acid trips, accidents, nightclubs and even a pair of beautiful Siamese twins later, as they finally reach the counter-culture capital of the world, Kathmandu, Fred disappears with the drug money. A quarter century later, after receiving mysterious emails inviting them to pick up their share of the money, Dan, Tim and Thierry are back in Kathmandu. The Nepalese capital is not the blissful mountain backwater they remember. Soon a trail of kidnapping and murder leads across the Roof of the World. With the help of Dan’s backpacking son, a tattooed lady and a Buddhist angel, the ageing hippies try to solve a 25-year old mystery that leads them amongst Himalayan peaks for a dramatic showdown with their past.

The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu is a better backpacker’s book than The Beach. – The Bangkok Post

The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu is a great read. – The Nepali Times

Vater sets scenes on a razor edge, catastrophe, oblivion and unbridled passion waiting for these volatile characters to lose their balance…. Multiple narratives and parallel plots give this book breadth and depth – quite a mind trip, actually, and a rather addictive read. – Lifestyle + Travel

I’ve published five novels since, with a new one in the pipeline this year. The Devil’s Road to Kathmandu is what started me off.

The novel has been a modest but regular earner over the years, and the story, much of it culled from my early travels in Asia, remains close to my heart, as does the devil’s road itself of course.