From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. At the start of Drake's superlative middle book in his ancient Egypt trilogy (after Nefertiti
), Rahotep, the chief detective in the Thebes police force, visits a horrific crime scene. Someone has mutilated a young man and removed his eyes—and possibly pacified him with narcotics during the assault. When the killer strikes again, Rahotep wonders if the murders may be connected with efforts to destabilize the regime of the young Tutankhamun. The ruler's foes include Ay, the regent who effectively runs the country, and Horemheb, commander of the country's armies. Rahotep must tread carefully to identify the parties behind both the killings and the threats to Tutankhamun without jeopardizing his life and the lives of his family members. Drake seamlessly introduces a serial killer plot line into his vivid evocation of the past. Admirers of such great historical novelists as Robert Graves and Mary Renault will hope that he continues working in the field after concluding this series. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This fine historical mystery follows up Nefertiti (2007), which introduced the ancient Egyptian detective Rahotep. Tutankhamun, the young pharoah, has achieved adulthood and is poised to assume control of the vast empire of Egypt. But a series of savage murders, not to mention ominously veiled threats, points to a plot aimed at ending the new pharoah's reign rather sooner than he intended. It's up to Rahotep to defuse the plot before it destroys the pharoah and the empire. There are other mystery series set in ancient Egypt—those by Lynda Robinson, Lauren Haney, and P. C. Doherty, for starters—but there's always room for one more, at least if it's as colorfully written as this one is. This is the second volume of a projected trilogy, but readers may find themselves hoping Drake will keep turning out Rahotep novels long after he finishes number three. --David Pitt