Yes, I’ve finished the trash (see January 2008, Book delivery). Of course it was trash. And of course I liked it. I had to. I don’t want anyone to think I’m not what the Independent might call an intelligent trash reader (flattery will get them everywhere). Here’s a quick roundup for those of you still dithering about whether it’s worth staying up for…
“The intelligent reader’s answer to The Da
Vinci Code” - Independent
In Egypt’s Valley of the Kings a body is found, kicking off a series of events and discoveries for chain-smoking Egyptian detective Yusuf Khalifa. As he delves deeper into the dead man’s background, Khalifa realises that there is more to the case than at first meets the eye. The story veers from the invasion of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD to the suicide bombings and inter-racial hatred of present-day Israel, in search of an ancient artefact that could send the Middle East up in flames. (Can I have a job writing blurbs, please Mr Bantam Books?)
I did stay up for it, several nights and way past my bedtime, especially after the rather fragmented first part was out of the way. From the moment the various characters meet and start to piece together the mystery bit by bit, the pace starts to hot up, leading to a triple crisis at the end and a superb cliffhanger in the final moments.
I guess this book is different to DVC because of the depth of the background geographical, political, emotional and psychological scenery that goes along with the “explosive” plot, a depth clearly missing from Dan Brown’s massive bestseller.
Or perhaps it just means that all is not as it seems, and therein lie a number of explosions not caused by concealed explosives belts or underground arsenals.
I have two questions for Mr Sussman, though. First, are there really people in the first world who have to look ‘Holocaust’ up on Wikipedia?
And second, what happened to the shepherd?