A brilliant atmospheric thriller, set in Cairo and the surrounding tombs and deserts, involving the threat of the past entwined with present deaths and future machinations.
Omar Ross, a maverick archaeologist, is disturbed by the death at the foot of the pyramids of Giza, of his old colleague, a famous Egyptologist, Richard Cranwell. Cranwell had become obsessed by his search for the legendary lost city of Zerzura.
Ross’s suspicions become further aroused by documents left referring to other deaths, of Carnarvon, of Wingate, of Carter, all linked by the inscription for the god Thoth. It seems as if Cranwell had been on the verge of a great discovery; but every contact, every informant, disappears: Cranwell’s body itself is lost and Ross, threatened, beleagured and friendless, turns to his mother’s family, of the Bedouin tribe.
This is a first novel with a difference. Written with great confidence, it is rich with Egyptian mythology and history, its new discoveries are plausible and convincing, the secret organizations and believers complex and frightening, and the cast of characters lively and varied.
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Omar James Ross is a maverick Egyptologist--he has his own theories, whic put him at odds with the academic establishment. He believes that the astonishing knowledge and abilities of the anciient Egyptians must have come from an earlier civilisation, which he refers to as Atlantis. When Ross receives a frightened phone call from an old friend and colleague, he returns to Egypt to find out what's wrong--and also to find that his friend is dead. Immediately he's caught up in a series of terrifying adventures--shootings, bomb attacks, beatings by the police.
Ross's mother was from a small Bedouin-type tribe, the Hawazim, and Ross finds himself drawn back into their life: long camel rides across the trackless wastes of the Western Desert with almost no food or water, hiding from the authorities, and learning, against his will, that he has a rare talent valued by his tribe.
But why are the authorities so much against him? Who are the mysterious group, the Eye of Ra? And can the tomb of the despised pharaoh Akhnaton be found at the hidden oasis of Zerzura, a place no one can find twice, and which has driven mad those few who have found it in the past? When Ross finally discovers the truth, it's more astonishing and more disturbing than anything he had imagined. But then, is it the truth? Or is it all part of the plotting and counter-plotting with which Egyptology is riven?
The Eye of Ra is a fascinating novel, written by someone who not only knows the way of the desert, but also knows the machinations of Egyptology. Many of the theories of recent speculative rewriters of ancient history (Bauval, Hancock, etc) are drawn into the plot. Beautifully written, with strong and memorable characters, this novel above all leaves in the readers' mind a powerful love and respect for the harsh but beautiful life of the desert. --David V BarrettFrom the Back Cover:
Omar Ross, a maverick archaeologist, is disturbed by the death – and the disappearance of the body – of his colleague, Julian Cranwell, who had become obsessed in his search for a legendary lost city. Somehow this – and the deaths of Tutankhamen, Howard Carte, Orde Wingate and many others – are connected, and as Ross begins to investigate, every contact, every informant disappears. Threatened , almost friendless, Ross turns for help to his mother's people, the Bedouin Hawazim tribe, and it is with them, that he solves the mystery of The Eye of Ra.
'Fast-moving, well written, endlessly exciting, The Eye of Ra excellently conjures up the atmosphere of the desert'
'One of the most impressive novels I've read in years. The quality of writ8ing, the characterisation, the plot twists are all excellent. But the true brilliance of the novel is the life in the desert. A stunning achievement; a book to buy and read over and over'
DAVID V BARRETT
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Book Description 2000-07-17., 2000. Book Condition: New. HarperCollins. New edition. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 464pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1721491
Book Description Firebird Distributing, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006513174