The Spies of Sobeck

Written by P. C. Doherty Paul Doherty
Review by Viviane Crystal

Pharaoh Hatshepsut, or Hatusu as she is called in this novel, is facing the toppling of her throne in Egypt of 1477 BC. A secret sect of warrior murderers known as the Nubian Arites wishes to rule all Egypt. Is their current campaign successful because the Pharaoh is a woman? Is she strong enough to deal with the mysterious disappearances and strangulations of her best court officials?

After a failed assassination attempt on Hatusu’s life following her return to Thebes, her Chief Investigator, Amerotke, is ordered to find the leader of these killers immediately. The task is complex, especially as two of the murders occur in rooms where there was absolutely no access other than through one door, locked and barred in both instances. The symbolic Arites red cloth, appearing on both victims’ necks and on bedposts of those being warned of their impending doom, is spreading fear and chaos throughout the kingdom. The Arites consider these deaths a satisfying sacrifice to their demon god. Their leader is the mysterious Sgeru, never seen but very clearly coercing and directing multiple attacks at the same time.

As Amerotke wends his way to a surprising conclusion, the reader is treated to ample descriptions of the stunning architecture, paintings, decorations, jewelry, food, spices, smells, dress and fragrances common to this rich, exotic land. The Spies of Sobeck is a magnificent Egyptian mystery tale of one very smart and savvy investigator racing against time to save a nation from a larger, more devastating war.