What would life have been like in Ancient Egypt? Would people then have been less like us or just like us? If P.C Doherty is to be believed, the Eqyptians were no different than us when it came to basic human nature. Doherty’s chosen story is a fertile ground of intrigue, murder, and suspence.
The Horus Killings refers to a spate of seemingly inexplicable murders that take place in the Temple of Horus in Thebes. The volatile political scene is to be blamed. The widow of Pharoah Tuthmosis II, Hatusu (the short form of Hatshepsut) has defeated the dreaded enemy from across the desert, the Mitanni, which makes her very popular with the people. But she has yet to establish herself as the supreme Pharoah Queen because many people, especially the Priests, do not believe that a woman can rule Eqypt. Along with a few supporters among which is her lover and Grand Vizier Senenmut, Hatusu seeks to root out all opposition by convening a meeting of all the powerful High Priests of Eqypt in order to ask them if there was any precedent that a woman ever sat on the throne.
One of her friends is Amerotke, the Chief Judge of Egypt. He is – for want of a better term – the detective of the story. He arrives at the truth after sifting through many murders and much intrigue.
Doherty captures the atmosphere of Ancient Egypt with dexterity. Once you get over their exotic names, the characters come alive. Of course, it helps that the pace of the story never slackens. The author seems to have followed the rule of having a surprise at the close of each chapter. Well, it works! I was hooked!
This book is eminently read-worthy. Doherty, an Oxford scholar of History, specializes in mysteries of the Ancient world. This is not my first Doherty: The Demon Archer is. But having read two works set in diametrically different civilizations, I have come to one conclusion. That Doherty is a true master of the historical mystery genre.
Rating: * * * * * = Khallas (Deadly)
My Rating System:
* * * * * = Khallas (Deadly)
* * * * = Bindaas (Great)
* * * = Jhakaas (Good)
* * = Timepass(Okay)
* = Bakwaas (Avoid it)