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The Lost Army of Cambyses [Paperback]

Paul Sussman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 11 2008
In 523 BC, the Persian pharaoh Cambyses dispatched an army across Egypt's western desert to destroy the oracle at Siwa. Legend has it that somewhere in the middle of the Great Dune Sea his army was overwhelmed by a sandstorm and lost forever. Two and a half millennia later a mutilated corpse is washed up on the banks of the Nile at Luxor, an antique dealer is savagely murdered in Cairo, and a British archaeologist is found dead at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara.

The incidents appear unconnected, but Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor police is suspicious, as is the archaeologist's daughter, Tara Mullray. Lured into a labyrinth of intrigue, violence, and betrayal by a mysterious hieroglyphic fragment and rumors of a mythic lost tomb, what began as a search for the truth becomes a race for survival. Confronted by both present day adversaries and ghosts from their pasts, Khalifa and Mullray find themselves on a trail that leads into the desert's unforgiving, burning heart, and the answer to one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Sussman's accomplished first thriller mixes an ancient legend of an invading Persian army swallowed up by a sandstorm in the Egyptian desert with the explosive politics of modern Egypt. London zoologist Tara Mullray comes to the pyramids at Saqqara to visit her father, a prominent archeologist. She finds him slumped dead in his apartment, apparently of natural causes. He has left his daughter an ancient, much-coveted wall fragment that he discovered, covered with hieroglyphics that may reveal the long-concealed site where the lost Persian army perished. The site would be not only an archeological gold mine but an incredibly valuable store of ancient treasure. Many shady characters are after the wall fragment, and Tara is caught up in a swirl of intrigue involving a malevolent Islamic fundamentalist leader, Sayf-al-Tha'r, who wants an Egypt freed of foreigners, and his associate, Dr. Dravic, a greedy, unscrupulous German professor. Helping her navigate the shadowy local politics is Daniel Lecage, an archeologist and former lover who left her for his other love, Egypt. She's also aided by Yusuf Khalifa, a thoughtful police inspector whose beloved older brother joined Sayf-al-Tha'r's radicals and was eventually killed by them. Sussman, who works on excavations in Egypt, has created a textured, well-researched and expertly paced debut. As the murders and thrills accumulate, the story veers toward melodrama, but the truly inventive plot twists come along at such a fast clip that readers won't mind.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

A cinematic, rip-roaring adventure mystery, brimming with details of Egyptian archaeology and history. Niceties such as character development and believable dialogue are swept aside in a tale that begins with the army of the title, which utterly disappeared in a raging sandstorm. Cut to the present day, when Tara Mullvay, zoologist, finally decides to visit her archaeologist father in Egypt and finds him dead. Meanwhile, inspector Yusuf Khalifa of Luxor is investigating two murders, both of which involve ancient artifacts and a mutilated corpse. Tara soon finds that a small artifact her father left for her has put her in grave danger, and Yusuf tracks a connection between his murders and Tara's father's demise in interesting ways. Tara's initial meeting with an old lover and their subsequent encounter with a cobra eerily echo Indiana Jones, while Khalifa's warm family life and gentle practice of Islam are aligned against an Islamic terrorist group whose tactics are chillingly recognizable. A glossary aids in tracking the rich lode of Egyptology (the author is an archaeologist). GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The limousine pulled slowly out of the embassy gates, long and sleek and as black as a whale, pausing momentarily before easing forward into the traffic. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thriller Oct. 13 2003
By A Customer
This book is very well written and does an excellent job of intertwining an archaeological mystery with modern terrorists. It has a particularly nasty villain. It also brings an unusual setting -- modern day Egypt -- to life, with interesting, believable characters. I found it very engrossing and recommend it highly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent action thriller Sept. 20 2003
By A Customer
I couldn't put it down. The story moves along at a good pace, is intelligently constructed, and surprises with a number of unexpected twists. I thoroughly recommend this book, and look forward to more by the same author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good bit of history. March 18 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I choose this rating because I found the book a good read, learned a bit about some interesting history and found the book to be a pick up and go book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but could be better Oct. 22 2011
I liked the book for the uniqueness of the story. I liked the book very much on the development of all characters. My main criticism is Sussman used too many Egyptian words in the book and the majority of them did not add any value or further insight to the story. I don't see the value of knowing how to curse in Egyption, and since I know a little Arabic some of the words were not correct, such as the word "Khutbar" which should have been "Khutbah"! But overall it's a good book to read and I recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great storyline, could have been better Sept. 17 2009
By Brenda Pink TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book after reading Sussman's second The Lost Secret of the Temple. The Lost Secret of the Temple is definitely the better book. The storylines are similar - following archeologists who search for lost Egyptian tombs/artifacts. This first book fills in the background of Yusef Khalifa. However, I agree that the graphic violence of an attempted rape contributed little to the storyline and would have been best left out. Fortunately, there were no similar scenes in Lost Secret. What the books have accomplished with me is fueling a new found interest in ancient history and religions. Both books tend to drag in places and I think could have been shortened for the betterment of the storyline. However, I quite enjoyed this book and don't hesitate to recommend it to those interested in this genre.
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