Results 1 to 4 of 4
04-27-2009, 08:51 AM #1
Brad Geagley - Two books of murder in ancient Egypt (Non RS Link)
Year of the Hyenas is a brilliant, original, and unique murder mystery, set in ancient Egypt at the height of that kingdom's glory and power. It is at once a strikingly insightful portrait of a mysterious, complex, and sophisticated society, reminiscent of Norman Mailer's Ancient Evenings in its wonderful detail and feel for the past, and a fast-paced detective story that reads like the best of twenty-first-century thrillers.
From the oldest known court transcripts in history, Egyptologists have long known about the mysterious death of Ramses III, involving intrigue, ambition, greed, and crimes of passion on a huge, though hidden, scale. In Year of the Hyenas, Brad Geagley takes this event -- a struggle that nearly brought ancient Egypt to its knees -- as the backdrop for a story that is every bit as captivating as the distant civilization it resurrects.
At the heart of the novel is Semerket, the so-called Clerk of Investigations and Secrets, a detective half-paralyzed by problems of his own, with a reputation for heavy drinking and tactless behavior toward the great, the powerful, and the holy, a kind of Sam Spade of the ancient world, deeply (and dangerously) addicted to the truth. Hard-bitten, deeply flawed, he is retained by the authorities to investigate what is considered an insignificant murder of an elderly, insignificant Theban priestess. They fail to inform him, however, that they don't expect him to solve the case. In fact, they don't want him to.
But Semerket is not so easily fooled, and this is hardly an "insignificant" murder. As he delves deeper for the elusive truth, he uncovers a web of corruption so vast that it threatens the life of the last great Pharaoh, Ramses III, and the stability of the kingdom. Even worse, uncovering the conspiracy means more than just putting his own life on the line -- for, unbeknownst to Semerket, his adored ex-wife Naia has fallen afoul of those who would bring down the reign of Ramses, and he soon finds himself having to choose between saving her and saving Egypt....
Merging historical fact and speculation with a nail-biting crime story that could be taking place in the present, Year of the Hyenas is a riveting and remarkable achievement.
Another brilliant and out-of-the-ordinary murder mystery by the author of Year of the Hyenas, with an unusual and interesting detective, this time trying to pursue and rescue his own ex-wife, sold into slavery in the city of Babylon (in modern times, near Baghdad) at a time of violence and great danger, much like today.
Day of the False King continues the story of Semerket, Egypt's Clerk of Investigations and Secrets. The time is approximately 1150 B.C., and the conspirators who plotted the overthrow of Pharaoh Ramses III have been tried and executed. But the old pharaoh has succumbed to the wounds inflicted by his Theban wife, Queen Tiya; it is his first-born son who now rules Egypt as his chosen successor, Ramses IV.
Geographically placed at the center of the Old World, where East literally meets West, Babylon has forever been the crossroads for conquering armies and adventuresome merchants, and the prize of dynasts. From cruel tyrants to far-seeing visionaries, an ever-changing set of rulers have claimed Babylon's throne as their own. But they were not god-kings as in Egypt; in fact, there was no term for "king" in any of the Babylonian languages. Instead, they were called simply "Strong Man" or "Big Man." Then as now, only martial strength determined who ruled. Strangely, or perhaps inevitably, the rights of the individual were first codified and set down as laws here.
Around the time that Day of the False King takes place, the Middle East is undergoing -- just as it is today -- a tortuous, protracted transformation. The old regimes have vanished, setting the stage for the aggressive emergence of the new nations of Phoenicia, Israel, and Philistia; it is the fourth of these new peoples, the Assyrians, who will achieve dominance in the years ahead.Babylonia in particular has suffered a series of cataclysms. The old Kassite Dynasty, themselves invaders from the north, has been toppled. The nation of Elam (soon to be known as Persia) has launched a massive war to conquer Babylonia from the southeast. Native tribes in the country also see this moment as their own chance to evict the foreigners and re-establish a dynasty of their own.
Into this roiling alchemy, Semerket's adored ex-wife, Naia, is thrust. She and Rami, the tomb-maker's son, have been banished to Babylon as indentured servants -- punishment for their accidental roles in the Harem Conspiracy against Ramses III.
As in Year of the Hyenas, most of the events and characters in Day of the False King are drawn from history. The Elamite invader King Kutir and the native-born Marduk truly vied for the throne of Babylonia. There really was a festival called Day of the False King, when the entire world turned upside down for a day, when slaves ruled as masters, when the most foolish man in Babylon was chosen to become king. Semerket the detective is plunged into the midst of these events in pursuit of his own goals: to serve his Pharaoh and to find the woman he loves.
HTML LIT TXT PRC OPF http://drop.io/ciw9bgb
05-15-2009, 05:25 PM #2
05-29-2009, 09:54 PM #3
- Join Date
- May 2009
05-31-2009, 02:19 AM #4