Having been to the Western Desert myself, I was very interested to read Bown's fictional account of an expedition to the area. What I was not expecting was to be treated to the thriller that he has produced. Based on a few lines from Herodotus, Bown has created a complex story that takes the reader from a twentieth century British asylum to the ancient Persian conquest of Egypt. The lost oasis of Zerzura is intertwined with ancient Greek myth and the army sent by Cambyses II that never reached its destination, as the action moves from the 500s BC to the 1990s. Good historical detail is mixed with sharply drawn characters and fantastic, thrilling action sequences that are cinematic in scope. A cracking read.