The Year of the Cobra

Written by Paul Doherty
Review by Mike Ashworth

The Year of the Cobra is the third and final book in the series based on the memories of Mahu, the Egyptian chief of police. Egypt is in danger. There are rumours that the Hittites are massing their armies in readiness for an assault on the country while Pharaoh Tutankhamen lies seriously ill. Mahu is sent on a mission to uncover the Hittites’ plan. The mission, however, is merely a trap and the chief of police barely escapes with his life. On his return to Egypt Mahu finds Pharaoh Tutankhamen dead and hastily buried, and he is forced to choose sides between the new Pharaoh and Egyptian leaders Rameses and Horemheb, who seek power for themselves. Having not read either of the first two books in the series, I found myself at a disadvantage, as the depth of characterization is missing; if I had read them, I would have had a better understanding of both the characters and the era in which the book is set. As it was, I found the book predictable and almost formulaic. Disappointing.