The Lost Army of Cambyses

( 29 )

Overview

"In 523 B.C. the Persian emperor Cambyses dispatched an army across Egypt's western desert to destroy the oracle of Amun at Siwa. Legend has it that somewhere in the middle of the Great Sand Sea his army was overwhelmed by a sandstorm and destroyed. Five thousand men were lost." "Two and a half thousand years later, a mutilated corpse is washed up on the banks of the Nile at Luxor, an antiques dealer is savagely murdered in Cairo, and an eminent British archaeologist is found dead at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara." "At first, the incidents
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The Lost Army of Cambyses

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Overview

"In 523 B.C. the Persian emperor Cambyses dispatched an army across Egypt's western desert to destroy the oracle of Amun at Siwa. Legend has it that somewhere in the middle of the Great Sand Sea his army was overwhelmed by a sandstorm and destroyed. Five thousand men were lost." "Two and a half thousand years later, a mutilated corpse is washed up on the banks of the Nile at Luxor, an antiques dealer is savagely murdered in Cairo, and an eminent British archaeologist is found dead at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara." "At first, the incidents appear unconnected. Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor police is suspicious, however. And so too is the archaeologist's daughter, Tara Mullray. As each seeks to uncover the truth, they find themselves thrown together in a desperate race for survival - one that forces them to confront not only present-day adversaries but also ghosts from their own pasts." From a mysterious fragment of ancient hieroglyphic text to rumors of a fabulous lost tomb in the Theban Hills, from the shimmering waters of the Nile to the dusty backstreets of Cairo, Khalifa and Mullray are drawn ever deeper into a labyrinth of violence, intrigue, and betrayal. It is a path that will eventually lead them into the forbidding, barren heart of the western desert, and the answer to one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sussman's accomplished first thriller mixes an ancient legend of an invading Persian army swallowed up by a sandstorm in the Egyptian desert with the explosive politics of modern Egypt. London zoologist Tara Mullray comes to the pyramids at Saqqara to visit her father, a prominent archeologist. She finds him slumped dead in his apartment, apparently of natural causes. He has left his daughter an ancient, much-coveted wall fragment that he discovered, covered with hieroglyphics that may reveal the long-concealed site where the lost Persian army perished. The site would be not only an archeological gold mine but an incredibly valuable store of ancient treasure. Many shady characters are after the wall fragment, and Tara is caught up in a swirl of intrigue involving a malevolent Islamic fundamentalist leader, Sayf-al-Tha'r, who wants an Egypt freed of foreigners, and his associate, Dr. Dravic, a greedy, unscrupulous German professor. Helping her navigate the shadowy local politics is Daniel Lecage, an archeologist and former lover who left her for his other love, Egypt. She's also aided by Yusuf Khalifa, a thoughtful police inspector whose beloved older brother joined Sayf-al-Tha'r's radicals and was eventually killed by them. Sussman, who works on excavations in Egypt, has created a textured, well-researched and expertly paced debut. As the murders and thrills accumulate, the story veers toward melodrama, but the truly inventive plot twists come along at such a fast clip that readers won't mind. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An ancient Egyptian tomb holds the key to a grisly string of modern-day murders, in an engaging first outing by archaeologist Sussman. In Egypt, they say, you can’t dig a grave without hitting a pharaoh’s tomb. This has made the dusty and impoverished country famous for two ancient professions: archaeology and antiquities smuggling. A most distinguished representative of the former was Michael Mullray, an English Egyptologist recently found murdered at an excavation in Saqqara, while one of the shadier members of the latter was Abu Nayar, whose mutilated corpse washed up on the banks of the Nile at about the same time. Inspector Yuseuf Khalifa of the Luxor Police is charged with solving the crimes, and he immediately suspects a link between the killings. His suspicions are confirmed when an elderly antiquities dealer in Cairo is murdered in his shop—but not during a burglary. Khalifa is aided in his investigation by Mullray’s daughter Tara, who mentions that the necropolis her father had been excavating was filled with the smell of cigar smoke after her father’s murder. Had this anything to do with the fact that both the shopkeeper’s and Nayar’s corpses were riddled with cigar burns? Khalifa also finds that the Egyptian and British governments are extremely interested in the case—though the representatives of the British embassy and the Egyptian Antiquities Bureau who join the investigation seem more interested in learning how much he knows than in providing him with any information from their files. How political can archaeology be? Let’s just say that, somewhere in the background, the mysterious figure of dreaded Egyptian terrorist Sayf al-Tha’r looms over the case—and over Khalifahimself. And, soon enough, Khalifa and Tara will be investigating a plot against their own lives. A plot as complex as a hall of mirrors, and almost as gripping as a death threat.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802143785
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/11/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 421,038
  • Product dimensions: 8.26 (w) x 5.44 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Sussman’s two great passions have always been writing and archaeology. He fulfills the former by working as a freelance journalist and the latter by spending two months of each year excavating in Egypt, most noticeably with the Amarna Royal Tombs Project in the Valley of the Kings. He lives in London with his wife. The Lost Army of Cambyses is his first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    strong Egyptian police procedural

    English zoologist Tara Mullray visits her renowned Egyptologist father Michael at a dig only to find her dad dead. At approximately the same time, a black market antiquities seller is also found dead with his mutilated corpse lying by the Nile covered with cigar burns. Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor Police Department is assigned to investigate both homicides. Because of the nature of their respective professions, two sides of the same coin, Yuseuf seeks a link between the murders. He quickly learns of a third facet when an elderly Cairo antiquities dealer is killed (with cigar burns on the body) in his shop, but nothing is stolen. Yuseuf interviews Tara who informs him that the excavation site where her father died contained the odor of cigar smoke. Soon the Egyptian and British politico take an interest in how much Yuseuf knows because terrorist Sayf al-Tha¿r lingers in the background. THE LOST ARMY OF CAMBYSES is a strong police procedural that interweaves archeological elements into the plot, but though engaging and educational never slows down the pace of the story line. The tale is at its luxurious best when Yuseuf investigates. The novel remains powerful even when the British embassy and the Egyptian Antiquities Bureau interfere with the inquiry due to a fear of Islamic Fundamentalist involvement. When the plot twists more into a thriller, it retains its excitement, but veers away from its prime theme of murder investigations at the Pyramids. Still this is a tremendous first dig into the mystery world by renowned archeologist Paul Sussman and hopefully he will provide more exciting tales for his faithful students. Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    FEATURES AN UNLIKELY HERO This book encompasses all the elements

    FEATURES AN UNLIKELY HERO
    This book encompasses all the elements I look for: action, good characterization, a link to the past, an exotic setting, and a good storyline that brings it all together. It has all of this as rival groups attempt to leverage the discovery of the remains of a lost army of the Persian King/ Egyptian pharaoh Cambyses for their own ends. There are also plot twists that add spice. However, what makes this book unique to me is the author’s insight into the beauty and power of the desert and his introduction of an unlikely hero – at least unlikely or unfamiliar to most Americans. Inspector Yusef Kalifa of the Luxor police is a devout Muslim, a dedicated husband and father, a courageous but very humble man and a relentless opponent. Most American storybook heroes are not Muslim and are rarely devout, humble or dedicated to spouse and children. He is a good man not very different from what we strive to be from whom we can perhaps gain some insight from his view of religious fanaticism and Western culture. I regret that I did not discover Paul Sussman’s books before his death and that there will be no more than the four books he has written. I plan on reading the other three very soon.


    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2012

    Message to "Ban Her"

    What is it with this constant complaint about Harriet? You don't understand that most professional reviews contain elements of the story line? If you think her reviews spoil the story, why not simply pass on reading it? I guess if you see a movie trailer the movie is spoiled? If I told you the Confederates lost the War Between the States, would that spoil Gone With The Wind?
    Mark A

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2012

    Ban her

    Ok,bn. Just lost another sale thanks to harriet klausner and her big mouth plot reveals. Please do something to shut her up? You do realize she is costing you money in lost sales, right?

    2 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    Disappointing

    Great potential but fails to deliver. Too much gratuitous violence and juvenile character development. Deus ex machina ending, and improbable scenarios.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2003

    WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN ANCIENT ANTIQUITIES!

    This book is absolutely awesome. There's never a dull moment, and you get the feeling of being smack dab in the middle of Egypt as you read. The characters are well-defined and description of the scenery crisp and clear. Definitely a must read for anyone...beauty, horror, and thrills in Egypt! Sussman is a new force!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2014

    Very good

    This story had 392 pages. In some places it draged along, but it didnt take long for the story to get moving. The end was the best, a great twist. I enjoyed this book and the author very much. I am on to the last book, cant wait.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Excellent reading

    Interesting and thought provoking! A great read for those who enjoy archaeological fiction.

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  • Posted July 21, 2013

    This book was a real surprise

    The title and the cover art threw me off at first. This proved to be a really great book. The location was different and the characters kept me guessing until the very end. Don't look at the end of the book or you will ruin it. I was totally surprised about the character who also proved to be a villain.I guess it shows that what is the most obvious is not always true. The book has plot within plot and the ending was a real surprise. Give it a try, I think you will be very surprised and it makes a great summer read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    Great Book

    Paul Sussman is a great author. His novels are a mixture of action, adventure, and historical archeology. This book was fast paced and difficult to put down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Flingstar

    -^

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    Good action

    Just a little much on the Deus ex machina, but the action and characters kept it enjoyable.

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    Action Packed

    Great Read!!Puts raiders of the lost arc to shame!!Its so now.Couldn't Put it down. I will buy every one of his books and I usually like period romance suspence. So take it from me You'll love it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Rebecca b.

    A review is only to give basic lead elements. To give you just enough to get a bases on a book. But not ALL details. This person Harriet Klausner does not give a proper review. She gives too much away.please do not post anymore from her.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2012

    More than I had hoped!

    This last novel, involving the 2 'friends' from the past, was FANTASTIC.
    I was sorry to finish it.
    I hope to read more books by Paul Sussman soon!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2012

    Just wondering why

    I was looking at all the Paul Sussman books this morning when I realized most of them cost 4 dollors less in Spanish then in English. Is there by chance a GOOD reason for this? I feel like I am at my local grocery store I can get the same item for less if I go to the Latino section to buy it. Problem is I can't read Spanish. For those kind of saving maybe I should learn. In the mean time I won' t be buying the books because I can't really justify it to myself...

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Not very exciting.

    It's a good weekend escape.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews

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