It is wartime Cairo in 1916. Lea Attwood, an intrepid war correspondent, is in Egypt seeking news of her husband, Michael Attwood, who is a British agent working undercover in Turkish territory. Lea is unaware that she has been targeted as bait to lure him to his death. They are both unaware that Lea is being followed by their equally intrepid 16-year-old daughter, Cally, who has her own adventures before finding her mother. After a terrifying ordeal when lost in the desert Lea is reunited with her husband. However, his enemies are closing in.
This is a satisfying adventure story with characters already met in Frances Burke’s first novel Dragon Wind Rising. This in no way hurts the first time reader. It is simply that their exploits are more familiar. Lea reminded me of an Amelia Peabody type from Elizabeth Peters’ books – not just because it is set in Egypt but more because she too is a resourceful character, dressing ‘sensibly’ in desert territory. The terrible conditions of the Allied War effort in Egypt are kept alive by diary entries which intersperse the narrative, from Lieutenant Rick Holman who befriends Cally and then becomes infatuated with her mother. A refreshing tale of derring-do, with vivid scenery.