Want an interesting lesson in Egyptian history? With all of the richness of the land, time and people? Read Paul C. Doherty's Egyptian mystery series; trust me, you will be enthralled. You will also gasp and grimace in pain and disgust. You will, eventually, realize, understand and appreciate everything Doherty has just told you.
Granted, The Spies of Sobeck, though the 7th book with Chief Judge Amerotke, is the first book I've read of his, but it has me wanting to read all of the others now! You don't need to read them in order, by the way.
Set in the time of the Pharoah Queen Hatusu - 14th century B.C. - this is a thriller and a mystery, rich with the simple and divine details that made up the lands of Egypt.
It begins with the death of a Medjay scout, followed by an attack on the Pharoah, and then the death of two others, all sinisterly gruesome enough to set the tone of the novel. Enter Lord Valu and Amerotke, the Eyes and Ears of the Pharoah and the Chief Judge of the Hall of Two Truths. They are charged with the task of finding and stopping these attacks, narrowed down to be the beginnings of a Nubian revolution carried out by the Arites - thought to have been suppressed by the Pharoah's father. It is more of a thriller from then on. A number of questions arise, a number of attacks take place, each as frighteningly random as the previous... or maybe not.
I loved it. The pace, the writing, the history, the descriptions, the people. It has got to be one of the best historically based mysteries I've read! Egypt is painted in such grandeur by Doherty's words, it's like you're actually there! It is with this same intensity that the attacks are also described. It's bloody, all of the massacres, but Amerotke's quick mind and humanity keep you hooked onto his character's story as he walks us through his thoughts.
I'm amazed at how much you can learn from a novel with a historical note from the author at the beginning and end of the book, and the story itself. It's a novel, but it has some real people and describes events as though they actually happened. A good whodunit, maybe not for those who cannot stand too much bloodshed, but you will not be disappointed with the end result - Amerotke knows when to go in for the kill and so does Doherty.