When the body of hotel owner Piet Jansen is discovered amid the ruins of an archaeological site by the Nile, it looks like a routine investigation for Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor Police. But the more he learns about Jansen, the more he is reminded of the brutal murder, some years earlier, of an Israeli woman at Karnak for which he always suspected the wrong man was convicted. Ignoring the objections of his superiors, Khalifa re-opens the case, but to do so, he finds he's obliged to team up with a bigoted, hard-drinking Israeli detective.
©2006 Paul Sussman; (P)2006 W F Howes Ltd
"The intelligent reader's answer to The Da Vinci Code." (Independent)
I was a little afraid that with 20+ hours of listening I would find this book boring. But I loved every minute of it. The characters are lively and well drawn and you just have to keep listening to the unfolding of the story. Sussman manages to write not only an intelligent and suspenseful thriller but gives you something to think about long after the end of the book
I thought I was in store for another Da Vinci Code clone but I was completely wrong. This is a superbly written, fast paced novel with well drawn characters and a terrific mystery(ies). Further adding to the depth of this novel is its setting in a richly crafted milieu of modern Middle East tensions. The story has several twists that are unexpected (and not the least bit contrived) and like all truly great mysteries, the clues were there for the reader all along. At the unexpected and very satisfying ending, I immediately went looking for more by Mr. Sussman.
Gordon Griffin is a superb performer in the pantheon of Barbara Rosenblatt and only a handful of others. He brings the characters to life and adds quality to an already first rate story.
I could have stopped listening at any point, including the last few hours, and never wondered about how it ended.
That said, it was well read, and parts of the book I found well-written and interesting. But at least half the time, I was not engaged.
Also, if you don't believe in the actual, true power of religious symbols, as I do not, then it's hard to buy into the thrust of the plot.
This seems to be using the historical mystery as a ruse to lure in the buyer. The story seems to be actually a hit-over-the-head message that every one in the Palestenian/Jewish conflict are people. Of course, message books are legal but that is not how the book is being sold. If you want a thriller, a mystery that is compelling, this is not the book. If you want multiple sad stories about how awful the whole history is but how every one has a legitimate right and there are no real villains, then this is for you. For me the story doesn't stick to one story line enough to be interesting and the characters are cartoons. The da vinci code can be criticized but it did have a chase. Here the chase is rarely mentioned much less happening and seems to be dressing for the author to feel good about trying to look at the conflict as filled with sympathetic individuals who all have valid points of view. The whole thing is not what expected and as a picture of the Middle East doesn't ring true. The reader does a good job except with female voices which are patronizing in their wheedling delivery so that even women sound like they are 11 years old.
If you listened to the Lost Army of Cambyses you will quickly spot the formula reused in this one. Everybody scurring around to find a lost artifact of the Ancient World. We don't see as much of the Egyptian Detective as I would like and he has introduced an Israeli detective. The reader is excellent -- but the formula is old. This is a sort of ancient world rip-off of the Da-Vinci code. The Lost Army of Cambyses was much better than this one. The reader, however is excellent and does a lot to save this tired formula from boredom.
Very well done. The characters are well-drawn and the narration excellent. Great use of credits
Don't know why several of the others didn't really care for this novel. I thought it was fast paced, well read, and excellently written. A little cliche on the Middle Eastern relations but with unique twists and turns. If you enjoy Middle Eastern religious history, this is well worth the credits.
The story was gripping, even if the ending was a little too neat.
What made the story so compelling was the excellent work of the reader. He was superb! A great experience.
This book was wonderful , engrossing and thought provoking all at the same time. The naration was superb. The narrator being able to create so many charactors of different nationalities both male and female so convincingly was truly amazing.
Although the basic premise of the story was interesting to me the author seemed to overwhelm it with sterotypic characters that are difficult to empathise with. I really struggled through this one.
"would have liked a warning"
about the use of bad language. The author had a shortage of adjectives and used the F word far too frequently, much more than was necessary for the plot.This was unfortunate because the plot was excellent and I enjoyed moving backwards and forwards between the centuries and the different places, but I DID NOT enjoy the expletives. I found these totally unnecessary and if I had been warned beforehand would not have purchased it. I am not narrow minded but enough is enough of anything.
I bought this book because it was billed as 'the thinking man's Davinci Code' Well, I don't know what the man was thinking of. The book is puerile and cliched. Towards the end of the book, an electricity generator untouched for 60 years springs to life after a few cranks.Enough said. I suspect that the narrator was selected for his ability to pronounce Arabic and Hebrew place names. He can be commended for little else. His intonation is appalling, particulary when reading dialogue.
"The Last Secret of the Temple (Unabridged)"
Brilliant and very topical book and a brilliant reader to compliment it. I usually only listen to books when driving - I had to continue with this one on my ipod at home.
"A good yarn"
I thought that this was a good Yarn, it whilled away the time when travelling to and from work in an acceptable manner.
Plot was good, but at times if you were not concentrating could be lost a little so there were one or two times when I had to rewind just to check where I had got to and why I did not understand what had happened.
Enough twists in the plot to keep you interested and guessing till almost the end. I suspect this has been written with one hopeful eye on the movie industry as I can imagine it translating well into a Indianna Jones/Lara Croft type film with enough antagonism between the police officers to add the dramatic interest as the plot unfolds.
"THE USUAL FORMULA"
I was disappointed to find another "ancient artifact" mystery. The book was saved by the high quality writing - which kept me reading. I would like to see this author tackle something a bit more challenging.
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