In 523 BC, the Persian emperor Cambyses dispatched an army across Egypt's western desert to destroy the oracle of Amun at Siwa. Legend has it that somewhere in the middle of the Great Sand Sea his army was overwhelmed by a sandstorm and destroyed. Fifty thousand men were lost. Two and a half thousand years later a mutilated corpse is washed up on ...
In 523 BC, the Persian emperor Cambyses dispatched an army across Egypt's western desert to destroy the oracle of Amun at Siwa. Legend has it that somewhere in the middle of the Great Sand Sea his army was overwhelmed by a sandstorm and destroyed. Fifty thousand men were lost. Two and a half thousand years later a mutilated corpse is washed up on the banks of the Nile at Luxor, an antiques dealer is savagely murdered in Cairo, and an eminent British archaeologist is found dead at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara. At first, the incidents appear unconnected. Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor police is suspicious, however. And so too is the archaeologist's daughter, Tara Mullray. As each seeks to uncover the truth, they find themselves thrown together in a desperate race for survival - one that forces them to confront not only present-day adversaries but also ghosts from their own pasts. From a mysterious fragment of ancient hieroglyphic text to rumours of a fabulous lost tomb in the Theban Hills, from the shimmering waters of the Nile to the dusty backstreets of Cairo, Khalifa and Mullray are drawn ever deeper into a labyrinth of violence, intrigue and betrayal. It is a path that will eventually lead them into the forbidding, barren heart of the western desert, and the answer to one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world. At once an adrenaline-packed thriller and a wonderfully evocative archaeological adventure, " The Lost Army Of Cambyses" marks the debut of a great new storyteller.
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Paul Susssman writes with so much understanding of problems in this area of the world as well as weaving gripping mysteries. I now have all the books he produced, a rare compliment because I rarely read modern writers.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-01-13 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. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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