Jane Wilson-Howarth


Himalayan Hideout

Publisher: Vajra Publications, Kathmandu
Author: Jane Wilson-Howarth
Page count: 210
RRP: NRp 700/-
ISBN: 9789937924573
This the second Alex and James wildlife adventure where the boys are kept in check by the feisty Bim. It is a middle grade reader introducing an array of rare animals.  These are superbly illustrated by Betty Levene.
The text of the book runs to over 34,000 words and in addition there is a glossary of Nepali and other unfamilar words and notes on all of the animals mentioned in the book. An electronic version of this book is available as Chasing the Tiger from Eifrig Publishing; click second wildlife adventure and there is an audiobook Hideout on Audible

Sixteen-year-old Alex, his 12-year-old brother James and their feisty friend Bim have a life-or-death mission. Armed thugs have captured two innocent wildlife conversationists: the boy's parents. Only the three children have time to engineer a rescue before the kidnappers reach their hideout high in the Himalayas. But saving them means crossing two high passes and fleeing from hungry predators. Surely they can't suceed? 


This began as a bedtime story for my then 10-year-old and was first published as Chasing the Tiger by Eifrig in the US


Click this link Locked in a dank cell to see and hear Jane reading the opening of her book, or read for yourself....

I woke hungry. The grease from last night’s meagre meal still lined my mouth. The cold of the bare concrete floor had seeped into my bones. Shivering made the wound in my leg ache. It was a nasty purple colour now. I looked around. Mum, Dad and my little brother, James, were still asleep. Through the bars of our cell I could see that the skies were slowly starting to lighten. Morning had arrived at long last. The weak dawn light picked out streaks of grey mould on the once-whitewashed walls, and there were patterns of green stuff where monsoon rains seeped through cracks in the plaster; it almost looked like a map. The team of ants that found a gecko’s tail on the floor last night had managed to pull it half way up to the ceiling. I was so hungry I almost envied their feast to come.

I heard footsteps and jangling keys. Suddenly everyone was awake.
“This was earlier than I expected,” Dad whispered. “You’ve got to really focus, Alex. No day-dreaming. Don’t forget the plan.” I gave him a dirty look but he didn’t notice. He went on, “Get away, and get word to the Embassy – then we might have some chance of rescue, and of clearing up this big ugly misunderstanding. Once we’re out, we must separate straight away. You boys, go straight to the Irrigation office. Ask Dinesh if he’ll let you phone Kathmandu. We can trust him. Tell him what’s going on. Mum and I’ll head for the main Post Office and try to phone from there. If there’s no Maoist reception committee, we’ll meet at the Post Office and take a tanga to the ferry at Kothiyaghat and then the bus for Kathmandu.”
Keys rattled in the lock. A junior policeman we hadn’t seen before opened the door of our cell. His uniform was all scrumpled, as if he’d slept in it. He looked tired. Maybe he hadn’t slept. He waved the four of us into the gloomy corridor. Wordlessly he indicated we should just go.
Dad said quietly, “Head straight for Dinesh’s house. As soon as you can boys, just run!”


The tiny tea-shop beside the eleven water spouts was at the edge of the Dhorpatan Valley. From there we could see right across the wide, wind-swept peat-bog. The high mountain ridges that walled in the valley seemed to catch the rain and send it down here. Even the air we were breathing was wet.
Golden eagles played on the updrafts. Two, one a little smaller than the other, circled on a thermal. They looked big, but when others disappeared behind a mountain ridge, I realised they were further away and even bigger than I first thought.
Then there was a “Look – awesome!” from James.
The nearest eagles had half folded their wings and plummeted earthwards, still circling each other as they dived head first. They touched claws as they spiralled down, in complete control.


We came to a tiny hamlet. There were no more than six little houses nestling in the deep steep valley. Smoke, rising through the rough wooden roof-slats, made the homes look cosy and inviting but we didn’t expect a welcome there.

A shape passed in front of the sun. I shaded my eyes with my hand and scanned the sky. A couple of vultures were circling as if waiting for us to die...
Then in the distance we heard gunfire. It sounded like people were shooting at the helicopter gunships, which were launching rockets in reply.
I murmured, "This is serious. We're in the middle of a real war!"


  • An enjoyable story; good fun, with a great pace, and the natural world woven into it without it being too obvious. Plus the author has a fantastic reading voice.
    the audiobook

  • In this second of the Alex and James adventures the story begins with the boys and their parents imprisoned by Maoists in Nepal, in filthy conditions. As they are being moved to a remote hideout, the boys escape and, with their friend Bim, they try to follow their parents, hoping to free them. This is a journey fraught with danger not only from the angry Maoists but also from wild animals and hostile conditions. Wonderfully accurate black and while illustrations by Betty Levene bring the story (and the animals) to life for the reader.

  • The adventures of Alex and James continue on as they brave hunger and every kind of wildlife in Nepal in order to rescue their kidnapped conservationist parents. Young readers are introduced to Nepal's past, a time when real-life kidnappings of conservationists occurred. Not only will readers learn about the history of Nepal and the rich wildlife and foods there, they will be reminded of the grit it takes to stand up for what one believes. Beautifully told and illustrated, a real treat!
    Lizbeth Meredith, author

  • Another great adventure story! I love how the author feeds us enticing descriptions of Himalayan culture and wildlife all while keeping us on the edge of our seats with the exciting plot. This was hugely enjoyable.
    Audible listener

  • The author has done another good job of giving us an intriguing plot with twists and turns while providing glimpses into the life, culture and scenery of the Himalayas. This should appeal to young adults and adults (read advanced teen readers and beyond). The author again proved she’s in the relatively small circle of authors who can provide a respectable performance of her own work.

  • This is another romping himalayan adventure. This time the boys end up in the high himalayas where they meet some beautiful wildlife, but also encounter a family of bears and even a snow leopard and many other rare beasts as they wander, lost, amongst the crags and deep into terrorist territory.
    The Reading Agency

  • In "Himalayan Hideout," Jane Wilson-Howarth masterfully transports readers to the breathtaking landscapes of the Himalayas. Her descriptions of towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, and dense forests evoke a sense of wonder and reverence, reminding us of our interconnectedness with the earth and the importance of preserving its fragile ecosystems. Overall, "Himalayan Hideout" is a captivating read, while Jane’s lyrical prose, coupled with scholarly insights make this book a true gem

  • Thrilling adventure novel based in the mountains of Nepal, From start to finish, this is a fantastic and fast paced tale of adventure and comoradery in the Himalayas. There are twists and surprises throughout and the local sounds at the start of every episode sets the scene wonderfully. Its a gripping read!

  • This book, not like many others, it starts by plunging you into an adventure, where you are instantly gripped. I really loved this book and read it in an afternoon.  It is not the children being kidnapped, but the adults. The children set off on a long fun, challenging adventure encountering lots of different animals with beautiful descriptions and illustrations. You feel as if you could walk up to them and greet them with their full name. The different personalities of the children really bring the story alive. There are two boys, the younger one thinks mainly of food and the older one tries to be clever but fails desperately over time because the girl out-smarts his thinking with her knowledge of Nepali culture. I think everyone would enjoy this book, even if you don’t have a particular interest in different animals. By the end, you will have a knowledge of more than just foxes and badgers.
    Toma, aged 12

  • In this gripping sequel to ‘Himalayan Hostages’ we follow the adventures of two brothers searching for their kidnapped parents across the hills of Nepal. Vivid descriptions (and beautiful illustrations) of the wildlife and people they encounter bring this action-packed story to life.
    The Reading Agency

  • Where to buy

    Good bookshops in Kathmandu including Vajra Books in Thamel, Wisdom at Bhanimandal Chowk and online from Vajrabooks. It is also in stock at the Tibet Book Store in Thamel and the Patan Book Shop.

    An electronic version of the US edition of the book is available for just US$ 3.99 via Eifrig second wildlife adventure

    It is also available as an audiobook from Audible