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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 10 March 2010
Paul Doherty has am amazing output. I really don't know how he managed to write so many books in such varied historical tume periods. It is a huge achuievment, and I know he has an army of fans, so I doubt my review will prove popular. However....

It didn't do it for me. His characters are generally not likeable enough for you to care what happens to them. When one secondary character, and ally of the lesad investigator, Valu was killed, I was actually glad, as he was quite appalling and brutal. I doubt I was meant to feel this, but I just did not care what happened to anybody in the book.

I am sure it may be that ancient Egypt was this brutal and ruthless, but the challenge for an author is to create likeable and interesting characters that his readers will want to spend time with - and here Doherty (in my humble opinion) falls short.

I can't fault his histocial research, it rings true, but woud I read any more in this series? No. I think that if you want ancient Egyptian murder mysteries, then Anton Gill's Huy knocks spots of Doherty's creation.City of the Horizon (Huy the Scribe Mysteries)

I used to read quite a lot of Dohertys' works. They are always well researched, but somehow, the charaters are not humane enough for me. The big exception is Roger Shallot - whom I think is wonderfully funny in a deeply cynical way. The Relic Murders (Tudor Whodunnits Featuring Roger Shallot)
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on 25 December 2009
As a longtime fan of Paul Doherty and this series of books in particular I was really looking forward to the latest novel. Sadly, I was a little disappointed as the plot was not only rather tired and repetitive but switched from the detective style of the first books to almost a pure action novel of court intrigue and politics. Nothing wrong with that per se, but for those of us who like a diet of interestingly plotted multiple murders with a fine Egyptian flavour it was a disappointment I believe. A very rare dip in form from this fine author of historical crime. I hope that the next novel in the series can return to the previous very high standards.
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on 18 August 2011
The central theme of this novel, the Nubian Arite sect, appears to be based shamelessly on the Thuggee cult of nineteenth century India, right to down to the colour of the cloth they used for their ritual murder. The story of the Thuggees and their murderous service to the goddess Kali was brilliantly told in John Masters' The Deceivers. Much period 'detail' in The Spies of Sobeck is inaccurate, the proofreading is sloppy, the characteristaions are two dimensional and the plot is pedestrian: it is eminently put-downable. Luckily I bought my copy at Oxfam, so some good will come out of my purchase. I am NOT rushing to read another Paul Doherty, but I am going to reread The Deceivers.
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VINE VOICEon 12 April 2009
I believe sometimes little things illustrate best how a book is: when reading this book in the underground I got so absorbed that I nearly missed my stop. Well, that is really what one needs to say, isn't it?

This is number 7 of ancient Egyptian mysteries featuring Amerotke, Pharao's Chief Judge who solves all her problems. For those you have not read no. 1-6 do not worry: even if it is a sequence this novel stands on its own and one can follow easily. Paul Doherty is a fantastic storyteller who revives ancient Egypt to perfection. He re-creates this long lost world but keeps at the same time the story going. So he is not lost in endless descriptions but all the time moves the story forward. Nevertheless, he loves to emerge the reader in the fantastic ceremonies of the ancient world and takes the modern reader into these brilliant surroundings. The story is fast moving, convincing and not a single moment boring. The 300 pages are coming far too early to an end. One gets hooked with page 1. All in all, a perfect read!!
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on 2 February 2009
I probably own about 50 of Paul doherty's books and every one of them is a treasure. I have reread all of them because the richness of his descriptions and the depth of his characters make it worth my time. It is like revisiting old friends. In today's economy, reading about long ago crises and lives helps put everything into perspective.
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on 25 August 2009
This book is extremely strong on atmospheric detail but a bit thin in plot. Having read many of Doherty's other books, I saw themes recurring here which I'd seen in other 'period' stories of his. A good 'light' read, worth the cost of a paperback.
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on 15 January 2013
Paul Doherty has likeable heroes with humour. he paints a braod landscape and peoples it well. The mysteries are a challenge and do keep you guessing.
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on 15 May 2013
saw it on amazon and ordered it, thrilling again to life live with Hatusus great judge Amerotke and the ancient egypt
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on 8 May 2016
A good example of life in ancient Egypt it's law system.although a bit bloody, justice is always done for parole.
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on 17 April 2014
Again I love these books I am looking forward to the next one hope it is soon as I like the main charachter
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