|Plot Summary of The Lost Army of Cambyses|
Dunne, Feb 2003, 24.95, 384 pp.
English zoologist Tara Mullray visits her renowned Egyptologist father Michael at a dig only to find her dad dead. At approximately the same time, a black market antiquities seller is also found dead with his mutilated corpse lying by the Nile covered with cigar burns. Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor Police Department is assigned to investigate both homicides.
Because of the nature of their respective professions, two sides of the same coin, Yuseuf seeks a link between the murders. He quickly learns of a third facet when an elderly Cairo antiquities dealer is killed (with cigar burns on the body) in his shop, but nothing is stolen. Yuseuf interviews Tara who informs him that the excavation site where her father died contained the odor of cigar smoke. Soon the Egyptian and British politico take an interest in how much Yuseuf knows because terrorist Sayf al-Tha'r lingers in the background.
THE LOST ARMY OF CAMBYSES is a strong police procedural that interweaves archeological elements into the plot, but though engaging and educational never slows down the pace of the story line. The tale is at its luxurious best when Yuseuf investigates. The novel remains powerful even when the British embassy and the Egyptian Antiquities Bureau interfere with the inquiry due to a fear of Islamic Fundamentalist involvement. When the plot twists more into a thriller, it retains its excitement, but veers away from its prime theme of murder investigations at the Pyramids. Still this is a tremendous first dig into the mystery world by renowned archeologist Paul Sussman and hopefully he will provide more exciting tales for his faithful students.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of The Lost Army of Cambyses|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 30%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 20%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 40%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues
Time/era of story:
- 2000+ (Present)
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Kind of investigator
- police procedural, British
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- life in that culture
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
Part of Africa:
- Arabic Africa
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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