Summary (from inside book sleeve)
Unknown to the world at large, the opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1923 revealed a secret of crucial importance – a secret that over the next years would bring about the mysterious deaths of more than twenty people.
But the story didn’t end there. Omar James Ross, a maverick Egyptologist, is drawn back to Cairo by the disappearance of his friends and colleague, Julian Cranwell. His body is found by the Great Pyramids, and Ross becomes embroiled in a conspiracy that leads directly back to Tutankhamen’s tomb and is linked in some way to the legendary lost oasis of Zerzura.
Cranwell’s body vanishes from the morgue, and every contact, every informant dies or disappears. Ross, threatened, harassed, almost friendless, takes refuge among his mother’s people, the Bedouin nomads of the Western Desert. It is in the company of an intrepid band of these tribesmen that Ross solves the mystery of the Eye of Ra, and comes face to face with the most earth-shattering discovery.
Rich in Egyptian mythology and history, Bedouin folklore, sinister secret organisations and deep conspiracies spanning millennia, The Eye of Ra is a highly atmospheric thriller combining fascinating characters and chilling mysteries.
‘What’s it like?’
‘Well, it’s not two palms and a pond – that’s how most people think of an oasis. It’s fifty miles long with scores of villages, millions of palms, lakes, thousands of feddans of farmland, scrubland and acacia forest. It’s like a big green island in a sea of nothingness.”
I enjoyed this book a lot. The story was fascinating and cleverly written, and the characters engaging. Full of twists and turns, I didn’t know what was going to happen next most of the time, though there were some instances where they were anticipated. That didn’t detract from my enjoyment of it, however.
My favourite character was Doc Barrington, though Omar James Ross was interesting; being part English and part Hawazim, he had spent most of his life up until that point feeling like he didn’t fit in anywhere. I found the mythology and history engrossing, and the descriptions of the Bedouin, their folklore and way of life, thoroughly fascinating.
The book is full of rich descriptions of places, and the author’s understanding and knowledge of the desert and the people who live there shines through. I liked the front cover too – anything with hieroglyphs on it immediately catches my attention.
I wouldn’t describe it as a page turner, more a slow burner, even though there is a lot of action in it, but it held my attention throughout without fail (hence the four stars rather than five). I thought I wouldn’t get on with the sci-fi aspects of the plot, but the author did a great job of telling the story so that it didn’t bother me so much; yes, it was a little far-fetched, but fun nonetheless.
The Eye of Ra is full of secrets and mysteries, mythology and action, and has a rather unique answer to the curse of the pharaohs. If you enjoy historical fiction and sci-fi, and possess an interest in Ancient Egypt, I think you will enjoy this book.