She is called "The Perfect One," the most famous and beautiful woman in the ancient world. She rules with her husband Akhenaten over the most powerful, sophisticated and affluent society the world has ever seen and across an empire that stretches from Africa through the Middle East.
But behind these glorious scenes an epic power struggle is taking place: Nefertiti and Akhenaten inaugurate an enlightened new religion and build a magnificent and mysterious new capital, Akhetaten, in which to worship the Sun God, the Aten. The delicate balance of power in Egypt is thrown into confusion. The priesthood is stripped of its traditional authority and wealth, the army is enraged by the growing turbulence in the empire, and the people resent the loss of their gods. Old alliances are brought into doubt, and generations of inherited power and wealth are suddenly at stake.
And then, just days before the crucial festival to celebrate the new capital, Nefertiti suddenly vanishes. Rai Rahotep, the youngest chief detective in the Thebes division, with a rising reputation for his original methods, is secretly assigned by Akhenaten himself to investigate. He has ten days to find the Queen and return her in time for the celebrations. Success will bring glory—but if Rai fails, he and his family will die. . . .
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Nick Drake is the author of Nefertiti and Tutankhamun, the first two books in the Rahotep detective trilogy. He has published two award-winning collections of poetry, and his play was performed at the National Theater in London. His screenplays include the critically acclaimed Romulus, My Father (starring Eric Bana), which won Best Film at the Australian Film Awards in 2007. He lives in London.From Publishers Weekly:
Starred Review. Rai Rehotap, the complex sleuth of this excellent mystery debut from British poet and playwright Drake (The Man in the White Suit), is very much a creature of his time—ancient Egypt—but is possessed of investigative instincts that will be familiar to readers of classic whodunits. The author artfully places his plot during a time of great significance to ancient Egyptian society—the reign of King Akhenaten, whose reforms included an effort to do away with the established religious order, and who consequently evoked the wrath of powerful figures vested in the status quo. The king summons Rehotap to track down the ruler's powerful and charismatic partner, Queen Nefertiti, whose disappearance weeks before a great festival threatens the stability of the new regime. Drake displays great mastery of period detail, and if some readers are able to anticipate the identity of the person behind the novel's chaos, they'll still find themselves swept away to a far-off time with contemporary echoes. (Apr.)
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