Thursday, 23 July 2009
HISTORICAL FICTION CRIME REVIEW: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun - Nick Drake
She is called 'The Perfect One', the most famous and beautiful woman in the world. Nefertiti rules equally with her husband, the Pharaoh Akhenaten, over the richest, most sophisticated and powerful society in the modern world. At home the wealthy enjoy their hunts and love affairs, their new jewellery and fashions, and invest their money in elaborate tombs for the afterlife. The rest of the population labour on the land as they have done since time began. Yet behind the glorious facades of luxury and pleasure an epic power struggle is taking place; Akhenaten and Nefertiti inaugurate an enlightened new religion, and build a magnificent and mysterious new capital in the desert in which to worship the God of the Sun. The delicate balance of power in Egypt is thrown into confusion; the old priesthood is stripped of its traditional authority and wealth, the army is enraged by the growing turbulence on the country's borders, and the people resent the loss of the ancient Gods. Old alliances are brought into doubt, and generations of inherited power and wealth are suddenly at stake. And then, shortly before the crucial festival to celebrate the new capital, to which rulers and representatives from across the world are invited to attend, Nefertiti suddenly vanishes. Rai Rahotep, the youngest chief detective in the Thebes division, with a rising reputation for his original methods, is secretly assigned by Akhenaten himself to investigate. He has ten days to find the Queen and return her in time for the celebrations. Success will bring glory but if he fails, he and his family will die...
Tutankhamun, son of Akhenaten, has inherited an empire that seems to be at the height of its power and international glory. But the young King, just eighteen years old, is faced with the political and personal intrigues and conspiracies of the Court, where his godfather Ay, and the General Horemheb are locked in a bitter struggle for ascendancy. Tutankhamun must steer the empire back from the brink of disaster and dissent to which his father Akhenaten's rule led the Two Lands of Egypt, and re-assert the stability and authority of his famous dynasty.Rahotep, chief detective of the Thebes division, has his own worries - his daughters are growing up in a changing world of danger and instability, while out on on the streets of Thebes things are falling apart; poverty and dissent are breaking out into a nightmare of violence, gold and corruption seem all-powerful, and the city's shadowy underworld is itself witnessing mysterious acts of shocking brutality. Yet, when he receives a mysterious invitation to the secret halls of the Royal Palace, he cannot refuse.What he finds there, and the quest on which he embarks, will change his life, and put everything he thought he believed, and everything he loves, at risk.
Murder, mystery has long since fascinated readers as well as mankind psychologically, yet we tend to think of it as a more modern day phenomena. What happens within Nick’s writing is changing the setting to ancient Egypt during a time of political strife and upheaval is a way of life. Blend in the mix a touch of history and well researched historical detail and you have a story that will stay with you long after the final page is turned. Whilst Tutankhamun is the secondary novel I heartily recommend enjoying the two back to back, its well worth the investment of not only your time but your finances making this a holiday read that’s a must, especially if you’re going to cruise down the Nile and visit the temples of the ancients.