Hungry Ghost : Carter Cox is thirty-eight, a talented but dissipated freelance photographer living in New York's East Village with his sad dog and his bad habits. Though he travels to exotic places taking pictures of models and celebrities, he yearns to do more meaningful artistic work and to mend his womanizing, substance-abusing ways. He also tries to practice what he learns from his Buddhist betters but continues to carry with him his "seduction kit" -- a chessboard, cigarettes, a deck of cards, and a Cormac McCarthy novel -- along with a plentiful supply of rationalizations for his caddish behavior. At a Buddhist retreat in upstate New York, Carter meets Mia Malone, twenty-six, beautiful, smart, and serious -- a devout Catholic interested in other religions and determined to remain a virgin until she is married. Carter falls hard, and Mia -- attracted by Carter's struggle with Buddhism, his passion for photography, and his knowledge of the world -- nervously agrees to join him on a five-night, beachfront photo shoot in Morocco. With both of their souls hanging in the balance, they quickly go from the ocean to hot water. During their romantic standoff, Carter and Mia crash their rental car, get arrested, run afoul of a sadistic gendarme, and try to flee the country -- an adventure that leads to the discovery that karma and the human heart work in very mysterious ways.