“A plot as complex as a hall of mirrors, and as gripping as a death threat.” Kirkus Reviews
“Frederick Forsyth has a worthy contemporary.” The Week
“Sussman has created a textured, well-researched and expertly paced debut.” Publishers Weekly
“A great novel masterfully written.” Valerio Massimo Manfredi
In 523 BC, having recently conquered Egypt, the Persian emperor Cambyses dispatched an army across the Sahara to destroy the oracle of Amun at Siwa. Legend has it that somewhere in the middle of the Great Sand Sea the 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 antiquities dealer is savagely murder in Cairo and an eminent British archaeologist is found dead at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara.
At first the events appear unconnected. Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor Police is suspicious, however. And so too is the archaeologist’s daughter Tara. As each seeks to uncover the truth, they find themselves thrown together in a desperate race for survival – one that brings them face to face not only with 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 ruins of ancient temples to the chaotic backstreets of Cairo, Khalifa and Tara are drawn ever deeper into a labyrinth of violence, intrigue, fanaticism and betrayal. It is a path that will eventually take tem into the forbidding wastes of Egypt’s Western desert and the answer to one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world…