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62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book with a Sting in the Tail
It is always an exciting time for me when I find a new author who writes about the subjects I am interested in. This is Paul Sussman's first novel and he certainly seems to have the magical gift of storytelling. The book is based around a well documented event in early history. In 523 BC the Persian Emperor Cambyses sent an army across Egypt's desert to destroy an oracle...
Published on 26 Sep 2006 by J. Chippindale

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but not what I expected.
I did enjoy this book and the ending was a complete surprise and very enjoyable but I can't help feeling a little disappointed that the story didn;t meet my expectations.

Although there is a lot of ancient egyptian facts and history in this book, I was expecting more of an historical mystery, but it turned out to be more about middle eastern islamic...
Published on 6 April 2008 by Martin Belcher


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62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book with a Sting in the Tail, 26 Sep 2006
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
It is always an exciting time for me when I find a new author who writes about the subjects I am interested in. This is Paul Sussman's first novel and he certainly seems to have the magical gift of storytelling. The book is based around a well documented event in early history. In 523 BC the Persian Emperor Cambyses sent an army across Egypt's desert to destroy an oracle at Amun. Somewhere in the deserts the army of 50,000 men were destroyed by a sandstorm. The book is set in modern times and there is much murder and mystery involved. Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor police is brought in to solve the crimes, but even he is amazed by the sting in the tail that this book has in store for the reader. This really is a gripping book, one of the best I have read this year, and I commend it to you.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a veritable treasure trove of military memorabilia - the background for a gripping mystery, 22 April 2007
By 
Amelrode (Vilvoorde) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
In 525 BC the Persian emperor Cambyses II invaded Egypt and successfully overthrew the native Egyptian pharaoh, Psamtek III, last ruler of Egypt's 26th Dynasty to become the first ruler of Egypt's 27th Persian Dynasty. Cambyses II sent his army to Siwa Oasis in the Western Desert to seek (or seize) legitimization of his rule from the oracle of Amun, much as Alexander the Great would do in the 4th century BC. However, the army was overtaken by a sandstorm and buried.

For centuries adventurers and archaeologists have tried to find the lost army, and at times, tantalizing, though usually false glues have been discovered. Within recent years all manner of artifacts and monuments have been discovered in Egypt's Western Desert. Here and there, new discoveries of temples and tombs turn up, even in relatively inhabited areas where more modern structures are often difficult to distinguish from ancient ruins. Very recently, when a geological team from the Helwan University geologists found themselves walking through dunes littered with fragments of textiles, daggers, arrow-heads, and the bleached bones of the men to whom all these trappings belonged.

So far so good the reality which forms the background of this amazing crime story which will hold you from page one and only lets you go with the very last page. It is a page turner where fact and fiction merge into a one. Paul Sussmann knows how to hold the reader's interest, develops the personalities and the story in a convincing and interesting way. The various leads merge at some point, the twist are not outrages in the sense that one asks oneself "Where the hell is this coming from".

There are some aspects one needs to think about: terrorism, its roots and its effects.

All in all a book I highly enjoyed and can equally recommended.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Egypt's many Mysteries Brought to Life, 15 Nov 2004
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
It is always an exciting time for me when I find a new author who writes about the subjects I am interested in. This is Paul Sussman's first novel and he certainly seems to have the magical gift of storytelling. The book is based around a well documented event in early history. In 523 BC the Persian Emperor Cambyses sent an army across Egypt's desert to destroy an oracle at Amun. Somewhere in the deserts the army of 50,000 men were destroyed by a sandstorm. The book is set in modern times and there is much murder and mystery involved. Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor police is brought in to solve the crimes, but even he is amazed by the sting in the tail that this book has in store for the reader. This really is a gripping book, one of the best I have read this year, and I commend it to you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a great story, 15 May 2002
By A Customer
I strongly disagree with review by minidiscdrive! Having chosen a book of a completely different genre to my usual choice, I was thrilled to have “invested my time” reading it. There is enough historical detail for those amongst us who are familiar with the territory, to realise that Paul Sussman must have performed some painstaking research. The story is a surprising blend of fascinating historical reference, and a most unexpected swashbuckling Indiana Jones style murder mystery with some great characterisation to boot. This includes an interesting portrayal of entirely fictional Muslim fundamentalists. (The book jacket quickly points out the book was finished well before the Sept 11th incident!) There’s even a smattering of heart (gut?) wrenching romance for those of us inclined toward that field. And the most important thing? It’s a great story. Excellent.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lost Army of Cambyses, 29 July 2006
By 
JacquiB "Jacqui B" (Cambridgeshire, UK) - See all my reviews
Dan Browne who? This beats the Da Vinci Code hands down. I hope film bosses read this book.

I picked up The Last Secret of the Temple in duty free recently and could not put it down so I thought I would go for Sussman's first book. I was not disappointed!

Fantastic read - good characters, plot twists and the baddies are exceptional. It was good to read about my now old friend Khalifa - he's in 'The Temple' and you get to feel a real empathy for him. It makes a change for the characters not to be American.

My only criticism would be Sussmans, sometimes excessive use of swearing - especially certain words uttered by his female character... Its hated by alot of women but don't be put off by this criticism just read through it as its worth it.

Keep writing Mr Sussman.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive holiday read!, 21 Aug 2006
By 
This is a fast flowing fictional adventure novel that makes for ideal reading on a long flight or on the beach. It's one of those books that you find yourself having to keep reading to see what happens next. If you are looking for a book to exercise the old grey cells, don't bother! If you are looking for a light read, then this is the book for you.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 20 April 2006
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This is the author's first book and is based in Egypt and involves the usual suspects: tombs, snakes, artefacts etc.

The book is well written and the characters are well developed. It stands well above other books that cover similar themes due to the few surprises that were unforeseen.

The book was read in 2 days, which is a good indication of how much it gripped me.

I like it so much I will be reading the author's next book: The Last Secret of the Temple.

This book is well deserving of 4 stars.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lost Army of Cambyses, 12 Dec 2005
By A Customer
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I read this book on holiday in Egypt. It was a fanatastic read blending ancient history with modern day events and it was great to be able to identify where things were happening. I'm usually quite quick in guessing what's going to happen in a book and although you can pretty much predict what's going to happen in the chases between the goodies and baddies there's a really good twist which I didn't see coming. It certainly kept me entertained and I'm now reading the Last Secret of the Temple.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but not what I expected., 6 April 2008
By 
Martin Belcher (Hampshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I did enjoy this book and the ending was a complete surprise and very enjoyable but I can't help feeling a little disappointed that the story didn;t meet my expectations.

Although there is a lot of ancient egyptian facts and history in this book, I was expecting more of an historical mystery, but it turned out to be more about middle eastern islamic terrorists.

Anyway, don't be put off as I still did enjoy this read. I would also like to echo previous reviewers in saying that I think there was no need for the continual use of foul language through this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun!, 13 Aug 2006
This book is perfect for a summer read, I completed it in 3 sittings and I'd like to tell you why. Great idea, interesting characters who develop well in the novel with a healthy dose of "cheese" thrown in just to keep us sane, excellent plot development and a decent ending. This book is my favourite format i.e. lots of short chapters, 3 or 4 stories going on at once etc. etc. OK, so it's formulaic but it's addictive and generally well written. Loved it, doesn't make any pretensions, just delivers.
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