Egypt: The Book of Chaos

Written by Nick Drake
Review by Marilyn Sherlock

Tutankhamun is dead and his queen, Ankhesenamun, has married Ay, who is now old and ailing and not likely to live much longer. There are no heirs to the throne of Egypt (The Two Lands), and in the wings, General Horemheb waits to mount a military coup and take over the empire. Chaos is likely to follow, and the queen embarks on a desperate plan to marry one of the sons of the Hittite king, Suppiluliuma I, and so endeavour to continue the dynasty. So much is known fact. Running alongside this political issue is Rahotep, Seeker of Mysteries, a detective in the Thebes Medjay (police force) who discovers, through his great friend Khety, the existence of a cartel running opium led by one who calls himself Obsidian. When Khety is found, brutally murdered, Rahotep is determined to track the gang down and revenge his friend’s death.

This is a book I couldn’t put down. I am familiar with the stories of ancient Egypt up to the death of Tutankhamun and again from Ramses II, but these few years between the dynasties I knew very little about. The story is told by Rahotep himself, and he tells it well. The characters all come across as three-dimensional people, the various twists and turns in the plots are well defined and the story moves effortlessly from one page to the next until, eventually, all is revealed. This is the third book by Nick Drake, and I will certainly be looking out for the other two. Highly recommended.