Flesh of the God

Written by Lauren Haney
Review by Ann Chamberlin

During the reign of Maatkare Hatshepsut, Officer Bak is sent in disgrace to an outpost far up the Nile in this prequel to Haney’s ancient Egyptian sleuth series. Here we see Bak in love, for hardly has our hero arrived before the commander of the garrison is found murdered, and his much younger, beautiful, Hatti-born wife the primary suspect. Bak sets out on the dangerous trail of the real killer that leads to slave-worked mines deep in the desert searching out the flesh of the god Ra, which only the divine queen may own: gold.

A battle with desert tribes is the high point of this mystery whose multiple military suspects are not as well defined as they might be. On the whole, however, visceral historical details combine with competent storytelling for a decent fix for the historical whodunit addict.