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The Lost Army of Cambyses
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Sussman's accomplished first thriller mixes an ancient legend of an invading Persian army swallowed up by a sandstorm in the Egyptian desert with the explosive politics of modern Egypt. London zoologist Tara Mullray comes to the pyramids at Saqqara to visit her father, a prominent archeologist. She finds him slumped dead in his apartment, apparently of natural causes. He has left his daughter an ancient, much-coveted wall fragment that he discovered, covered with hieroglyphics that may reveal the long-concealed site where the lost Persian army perished. The site would be not only an archeological gold mine but an incredibly valuable store of ancient treasure. Many shady characters are after the wall fragment, and Tara is caught up in a swirl of intrigue involving a malevolent Islamic fundamentalist leader, Sayf-al-Tha'r, who wants an Egypt freed of foreigners, and his associate, Dr. Dravic, a greedy, unscrupulous German professor. Helping her navigate the shadowy local politics is Daniel Lecage, an archeologist and former lover who left her for his other love, Egypt. She's also aided by Yusuf Khalifa, a thoughtful police inspector whose beloved older brother joined Sayf-al-Tha'r's radicals and was eventually killed by them. Sussman, who works on excavations in Egypt, has created a textured, well-researched and expertly paced debut. As the murders and thrills accumulate, the story veers toward melodrama, but the truly inventive plot twists come along at such a fast clip that readers won't mind. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.


"Adrenaline-packed . . . combines all the elements of a truly great adventure story . . . At the end you feel like you've been on a roller coaster, in a library, and down the Nile all at the same time. . . . Superbly evocative, with a huge epic sweep." --Crime Time

"A plot as complex as a hall of mirrors, and almost as gripping as a death threat." --Kirkus Reviews "A tremendous adventure . . . a great novel masterfully written." --Valerio Massimo Manfredi, author of Alexander: Child of a Dream "Gripping...a spine-chilling, fast paced thriller...The Lost Army of Cambyses shocks as well as enthralls." -Sunday Business Post (Ireland) "At last, a thriller that gets away from the hackneyed old 'curse of Tut' stuff...the fast-paced plot is one among many good things in this very assured novel." -Scotland on Sunday

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