Eye of Horus: A Novel of Suspense

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A fabled age of wonder and terror comes to breathtaking life in a uniquely original masterwork of suspense that seamlessly blends the mystery and majesty of an ancient land with the astounding technology of modem-day forensic investigation.
The Eye Of Horus

In Egypt in the year 1359 B.C., during the reign of the young Tutankhamen, a girl child is birthed in secret by the beautiful Nefertiti, once queen to the heretic Akhenaten. Fathered by Ramose, who is soon to become high ...

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The Eye Of Horus

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Overview

A fabled age of wonder and terror comes to breathtaking life in a uniquely original masterwork of suspense that seamlessly blends the mystery and majesty of an ancient land with the astounding technology of modem-day forensic investigation.
The Eye Of Horus

In Egypt in the year 1359 B.C., during the reign of the young Tutankhamen, a girl child is birthed in secret by the beautiful Nefertiti, once queen to the heretic Akhenaten. Fathered by Ramose, who is soon to become high priest of Amen, the girl is destined to be a pawn in the power struggle for the throne, caught in the deadly snare of court-temple intrigue.

Thirty-three centuries later, medical illustrator Kate McKinnon stumbles upon a disturbing mystery from this ancient world. Hired by the Egyptology department of a Denver museum to create displays for an exhibit, she encounters a fascinating enigma: the mummy of a young female, her ribs broken, her hand shattered, and a man's skull between her legs.

With the aid of radiologist Max Cavanaugh, Kate employs the most up-to-the-minute forensic and imaging techniques in hopes of unraveling the millennia-old puzzle. And as remarkable secrets come to light under their expert scrutiny, a parallel story begins to unfold of a young girl born into a nest of vipers — and her tragic destiny in an age when stone pyramids loomed over the silently shifting sands and godlike pharaohs reigned in unimaginable splendor. As the two stories coincide — one contemporary, the other as old and inscrutable as the Sphinx — Kate finds herself on a twisting path laced at every turn with unexpected discoveries and peril, all leading her deep into the darkest shadows of ancient Kemet ... and ever closer to the shocking revelations of a crime so staggering, its horrific power remains undiminished by the relentless passage of time.

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Editorial Reviews

Texas Monthly
Wonderfully detailed...a great read...This treasure-filled mystery will have other writers regretfully murmuring, 'Tut,tut.'
Kirkus Reviews
A complicated mystery thriller that weaves alternative history set in ancient Egypt with forensic archeology from the present. Medical illustrator Kate McKinnon and radiologist Max Cavanaugh join their artistic and medical talents when confronted by a mysterious mummy from 1350 B.C.E., a period of social and economic chaos following the reign of heretic Akhenaten. The intersecting narrative from the journal of ancient physician Tenre maintains suspense by keeping you a step ahead of Kate and Max's investigation of the fascinating mummy called Tashat. Her fractured bones, the male head between her legs, and the extensive and realistic drawings covering her coffin suggest an old story of sexual politics and royal murders. But can Kate uncover Tashet's identity and her link to the mysterious Nefertiti before she falls victim herself to the institutional politics of contemporary archeology-especially when their director, Dave Broverman, protects his chair almost as ruthlessly as successive pharaohs defended their thrones? Brave women artists here humanize daring male physicians, ancient and modern, in parallel tales of personal and professional intrigue, loss and recovery. Thurston pulls her tales together with a clever device that closes the forensic search and the ancient story simultaneously-Kate and Max read the ending to an audience of their own-though Max's unifying artifact and Kate's budding "genetic memory" both flirt with the fantastic and hint at a sequel.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380976966
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/1/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Read an Excerpt

In the womb before the world began, I was a child among
other gods and children who were, or may be, or might be.

— Normandi Ellis, Awakening Osiris

Year Two in the Reign of Tutankhamen
(1359 B.C.)

Day 16, Fourth Month of Inundation

The sudden noise startled me. Not that there was anything unusual about someone pounding on my door in the night. It was just that my thoughts were so far from the concerns of the living as I sat recording everything I had learned only a few hours before, in the House of Beautification. What did come as a surprise was to find a great hulk of a man standing between two Nubian torchbearers, flames leaping in his eyes like an angry Anubis, come to wreak vengeance on one who dared desecrate his dead. An impatient man, with his fist raised to beat on the door again.

"Fetch the physician, Senakhtenre, and be quick about it," he ordered.

"I am Senakhtenre," I replied, and lifted my lamp to lighten the shadows cast by his beaked nose and heavy brow. I knew then that I had seen him before, for his is a face to remember with that white scar slashing across one bronze cheek to pluck at an unforgiving mouth.

"Then come with me at once. There is no time to waste."

"First I must fetch my bag of medicines."

"Just do not think to delay, sunu, " he warned me, "lest the lady who kneels on the bricks this night be taken by Osiris. Should that come to pass, I can promise, you will end by wishing the light of Amen had never fallen across your door."

I held my tongue and left him standing outside, for it is always a lesser man who needs to soundimportant simply because he is not. I refilled the packets of herbs I would need to treat a woman who labors in vain, then extinguished all but the lamp in my shrine to Thoth before hurrying back to where he waited.

He set a fast pace, avoiding the streets and alleyways where people stood drinking and talking even after dark, celebrating the news that the young Horus on Earth has taken the Princess Ankhesenamen as his Great Royal Wife. It has been almost three years since the young boy who succeeded the Fallen One of Akhetaten changed his name and returned to the city of Amen, restoring Waset to its rightful place as capital of the empire. And where before there was only the fetid odor of starvation and decay, the city of my birth now bustles with commerce and hope. On the edge of town we took the path to the walled precinct of Amen, where my silent escort did not skirt the god's great temple as I expected, but went between the twin towers of Osiris Amenhotep's massive gateway, then across the courtyard to the path beside the Sacred Lake, without once pausing to pay homage to the god on whose holy ground we trod.

From there we traveled a way known only to the priests, making me wonder what a rich master such as his could want of an ordinary physician like me when he could have any of the exalted priests from the House of Life. But I did not question the self-important jackass who had come for me, knowing he would welcome any chance to put me in my place. When we passed through a gate in the far wall of the temple precinct, the darkness closed around us in earnest, until we came to still another wall and then a watchman's lodge set into it. At a shout from my taciturn companion, the gate swung open to reveal a grand white villa, unlike anything I had seen in my entire twenty-two years. In the torchlight it seemed a shimmering white butterfly with its wings outstretched to hover over a bed of blossoms. As we approached the tall center section I saw that the double wood doors bore the likenesses of the animals representing the seven gods of creation, carved and inlaid with carnelian, ivory, and ebony.

Once inside, the servant led me through a shadowy antechamber, lit only by the many shrines to the family's household gods, then down a long hallway that opened into a vast high-ceilinged chamber. Here the walls were pristine white. So were the six lotus-bud columns supporting the dark wood rafters overhead, where colorful figures of the entire pantheon of gods danced and played in their heavenly garden. A room of unmistakable elegance, but what I found most intriguing was how it bristled with life yet at the same time felt profoundly serene, a contrast that produced harmony rather than conflict or chaos.

I was still trying to uncover the secret of such a paradox when a man rose from the padded sitting shelf on the far side of the room and started toward me. He looked to be in his middle thirties, though his sleeveless white tunic revealed the muscled arms of a man ten years younger. But it was the way he carried himself rather than his house or fine linen and gold armlets that made me know there was far more than some twelve or thirteen years between us.

It wasn't until he passed under the lamp hanging from one of the rafters that I realized his head was clean-shaven. Yet he wore red-leather sandals beneath his long white kilt — another paradox since it is a rare priest who covers his feet. "You are the physician Senakhtenre? "

I nodded and put my palms together without taking my eyes from his, which were the color of the afternoon sky.

"My lady's midwife and two servingwomen remain with her," he told me without ceremony. "All the others have been sent away." I could hardly credit that such a man would allow any of his women, even the lowliest concubine, to go without the incantations of the priests, and I suppose it showed in my face. "Yes, sunu, your reputation travels ahead of you, even here. But do not stumble over your pride. If you have need of anything or anyone, you must say so. Other than that I ask only that you treat whatever happens here tonight as a vision that comes while you sleep, without substance in the light of Re."

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Customer Reviews

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( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A unique enjoyable work

    In 1359 BC in only the second year in the reign of Tut, former Queen Nefertiti gives birth to a girl. The father is Ramose, a powerful priest soon to become high priest of Amon. With that type of heritage, one would expect a silver spoon existence, but instead the child even as an adult struggles to survive the political backstabbing at the Pharaoh's court. She reluctantly trusts only her physician husband. <P> In modern Denver, medical illustrator Kate McKinnon uncovers a puzzler involving a mummy Tashat. X-rays reveal that inside the wrappings exist a young woman with broken bones and the skull of a male between her legs. No known mummy contained body parts from two people. Accompanied by her radiologist Max Cavanaugh, Kate tries to unravel a mystery over three thousand years old. <P>THE EYE OF HORUS is an extraordinary mystery that keeps the audience riveted on what happened in the past and what is happening in the present. The dual plots intertwine as the past and present rotate chapters until they converge in the brilliant climax. The stories contain parallel paths and charcaters as modern forensic science uncovers a crime from Ancient Egypt. Carol Thurston has written a great what happened mystery that combines historical elements with contemporary forensic science. Egyptologists and amateur sleuth fans will devour this tale that spans the millenniums and demand sequels. <P>Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Wonderful storytelling of ancient egypt and modern times. This book is so well written that you feel the sights, sounds, technology, mystery, and emotions of the characters. This is a must read. The only reason it does not get a 5 star rating is the ending solved one mystery but, left the modern day characters hanging in limbo. I would love to see a sequel to this book, just so the whole storyline can be completed. Otherwise it's a fantastic historical read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2002

    Like a trip through the Gates of Time!!

    Carol Thurston if you do not continue this story you are crazed. What a wonderful full and rich flavored tale. One which pulls the reader into a web as delicate and complex as imagination itself. The characters are deep and well rounded...and make the reader a part of the story...A must read for anyone who loves .... to fall through the hole in the page...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2000

    The EYE OF HORUS a must-read for any Egyptophile!

    You may want to buy a copy for a close friend as well as yourself, cause you'll definitely want to have someone to talk with about this one. You'll also need to keep reminding yourself that it's fiction--who Aset is, what happened to her, and why--even though, as it turns out, this mummy actually exists! A mesmerizing tale filled with political intrigue both ancient and modern, deeply affecting characters, and fascinating minutia about ancient Egypt in the period following the pharaoh who may have been the first monotheist. Thurston is supposed to be working on a sequel, but like the reviewer for the Washington Post said, if so she has a tough act to follow.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    Save your money

    Not one of the better books I've read. Reads like a rip off of a Wilber Smith novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2002

    I loved it!

    I was looking for good novels or books on Ancient Egypt, because I am obsessed with Ancient Egypt. I was very impressed with Thurston's work with combining the two stories to become one. In the end.. well i wont give it away.. but does it have something to do with past lives? who knows. My personal rating: 100 stars. A must read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 22, 2014

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    Posted September 27, 2011

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    Posted July 5, 2011

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