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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.
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.
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.Published 18 months ago by April McDonaugh