Doherty, who earned his doctorate in history at Oxford, is the author of many historical novels set in ancient Egypt. He now joins Christine El Mahdy (Tutankhamen: The Life and Death of the Boy-King) and Bob Brier (The Murder of Tutankhamen: A True Story) in the realm of speculative history, attempting to reconstruct Egypt's post-Amarna period using the small corpus of often fragmentary inscriptions, decorative temple reliefs, tomb paintings, funerary equipment, and mummies surviving from the 14th century B.C.E. Although displaying a rather embellished style in the prolog and conclusion, Doherty gets down to business in the main five chapters, presenting a highly plausible end-game scenario for the 18th dynasty. After rounding up the usual suspects (Ay, Horemheb, and Ankhesenamun), he rejects Brier's assassination theory as the cause of Tutankhamun's early death and hasty burial, instead suggesting Marfan syndrome, an inherited genetic disorder, as the possible explanation, as well as for the physical abnormalities of his purported father, Akhenaton. Doherty writes in a style accessible to the nonspecialist, starting with a descriptive list of dramatis personae and ending with an annotated bibliography. Recommended for all public libraries. (Illustrations and index not seen.)-Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL
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