I am a sucker for historical fiction and thrillers, as well as being fascinated by all things Ancient Egypt so when I read this blurb, I just knew I had to dive in…
So what’s it about?
Undercover agent Omar Zagouri has been ordered to Giza. A prominent Egyptologist was murdered, and a priceless artefact—the only complete version of the Book of the Dead—is missing. Omar is still reeling from the recent disappearance of his girlfriend, Mia Golding, but he puts his quest to find her on hold to track down the lost piece of history.
Omar’s mission is not just to locate the sacred book; he must also rescue the two archaeologists kidnapped and forced to translate its hieroglyphics under threat of death. Their kidnapper is determined to discover the text’s rumoured explosive revelation: that Moses did not receive the Ten Commandments from God but instead copied them from the Egyptians. Though Omar’s need to find Mia grows more urgent, he must focus on finding the enemy who will stop at nothing to ignite a controversy that will change history, and the world, forever.
This is the second of the Omar Zagouri series but it worked perfectly as a standalone novel and I didn’t feel at a disadvantage not having read the first one.
The story is fast paced and action-packed, with a triple narrative – two of which are happening in the modern day and the third telling the story of the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut –generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty.
And wow, what a compelling story it is. I couldn’t put it down. The whole novel is extremely tightly plotted with well developed, likeable characters (you can’t NOT like Omar!) but it’s the story of Hatshepsut that made is fascinating for me. She is the ultimate Ancient Feminist and I found myself inwardly cheering her on as well as going off and googling obscure facts about her and her life.
The modern day stories work well too, combining action, intrigue, espionage and a bit of romance for good measure. What more could you want?
I enjoyed it so much I’ve asked the author for a copy of the first in the series… watch this space!
(Image of Hatshepsut by Postdlf from w, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=895004)