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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2013
I bought this because I had seen the third novel in the series in my local supermarket. It sounded good so I immediately went looking for the first of the three novels. I am very glad I did. It was excellently written, interesting throughout with well researched history and a twist I was not expecting at the end. I felt the book really did transport you to Egypt as if you we're there along with the inspector but whether this was due to the author's descriptive abilities or my having been to the places in the story I do not know. I enjoyed the intricate details of the story and could not put it down until I got to the end. Having clicked onto the last page I instantly connected to the hotel wifi to download the next book in the series. Anyone with an interest in Egyptian history who likes archaeology/crime novels should enjoy this.
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I had expected a novel with a more historical angle but instead the lost army of Cambyses featured more as a continuing thread in the background. Instead the book is a sort of boys-own adventure with thriller elements and not even a very good one at that. Except for Inspector Yusuf Khalifa the characters remain flat and two-dimensional, never coming to life. Some of the characters (the German villain and torturer dying a horrible death in the quicksand, the by-the-book police chief Hassani obstructing Khalifa's investigation, even the terrorist Sayf al-Tha'r waging war against the infidels and brainwashing young boys he has taken under his wing) come across as cardboard figures and cliches, the dialogue is often wooden and peppered with expletives and the sandstorm towards the end of the book is just too convenient to actually conjure up any tension. Where the novel does pick up, though, are the passages where we learn something more of ancient Egypt's history and the excitement that new discoveries inevitably evoke. I read the chapters where Khalifa visits his old teacher and mentor at Cairo's Museum of Egyptian Antiquities and Tara and Daniel finding the hidden tomb in the hills with great interest; it is in places like this where the reader can feel the genuine passion the author has for his subject. Unfortunately it is not enough to sustain interest or credibility throughout the novel but it is an entertaining enough and undemanding read, filling the time waiting in an airport lounge or sunbathing on a beach somewhere.
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VINE VOICEon 6 February 2008
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2002
I have just finished Pual Sussman's new book and can highly recommend it to others. A page-turning mystery that had me guessing right until the end. The plot is very clever and the characters are many and colourful. This would be an excellent holiday read, I am looking forward to more from Pual Sussman.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2012
This is a well researched and unusual historical thriller,set in Egypt, gripping from start to finish, mysterious and yet totally feasible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2012
What a fantastic debut novel, fast paced full of action and intrigue a real page turner. Using the well known legend of the lost army and mixing it up with modern day politics made an interesting change the author certainly knows his Eygptian history. Good strong characters and I look forward to meeting them again in a sequel I hope.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A brilliant book from Paul Sussman who has outdone himself with this novel. In my opinion this is definitely Sussmans better novel, the book is great and for the first 500 pages is the most believable fiction novel I have read in a long time. This does wonders for the book as I find it much easier to get into a book that is technically possible and less far fetched.

Sussmans characters are also excellent as two seperate protagonists follow their paths which inevitably intertwine, Yusuf Khalifa the Egyptian police inspector is working on a murder case likely linked to the terrorist leader Sayf Al' Thar. Meanwhile Tara Mullray visiting her father for the first time in Egypt is unwittingly drawn into something far greater than she could have imagined.

Sussman tells a great story that keeps you turning the pages, this is more of an adventure book than a thriller and the book seems pretty simplistic but for the twist or two at the end which was unexpected for this style of book. Still the fact I wasnt expecting any twists made them that much better when they cropped up and unless your one of those people that actively tries to guess a stories ending you shouldnt see them coming.

Five stars for writing, plot and characters, this really is by far the better and more believable of his books if you enjoyed Last Secret of the Temple you'll love this and if you havent read it buy them both but this is certainly the better read. Best of all no-one can compare this to Da-Vinci as it has nothing to do with religion so the author can for once get the credit he deserves.
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on 19 May 2010
I like this book, and I have read a few. But this is one of those that gets you from the start. If you like Sandstorm (Sigma Force 1) Sigma series, and I do, but have run out of them and looking for other avenue's in this field you can't go wrong with this. Yes, I've read the reviews moaning about the swearing but if your trying to portray real life, and I'm sorry to burst your bubble here people, but that's how it is these days. The mix of fact and fiction is believable, without any deep history lesson's. The cast of characters are well written, no hero's, just people caught up in a set of circumstances that may or may not see them live, die or get revenge. And the back drop for all of this is Egypt and a lost ancient army. Yes, I really liked this book and will be buying Paul Sussman's later book's.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 February 2008
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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