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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Lost Army of Cambyses » User review

Murder and mayhem in the desert

  • Jun 29, 2009
Rating:
+5
This book is perfect for beach reading, which is where I was when I read it. The plot is convoluted, and the action fast and furious. There are some gruesome murders, and it's almost impossible to tell which character is exactly what he or she appears to be.

The author is obviously quite familiar with Egypt and its history, and the search for this lost army is extremely interesting. There is a very dangerous terrorist-type in the book, and he haunts the life of the policeman-protagonist. Everything comes together in the end, and all of the mysteries are solved, but I still wonder how many people in this book could spend days crossing the desert without having something covering their heads? Just one of life's unsolved mysteries, I guess.

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About the reviewer
Frank J. Konopka ()
Ranked #93
I'm a small town general practice attorney in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. Books are my passion, andI read as many of them asI can. Being the President of the local library board for over … more
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Wiki

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 ...
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ISBN-10: 0802143784
ISBN-13: 978-0802143785
Author: Paul Sussman
Publisher: Grove Press

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