Whispers in the Sand
After a 14-year stint as a trophy wife, Anna Fox is recently divorced and at loose ends. Her great-aunt Phyllis suggests that Anna retrace the Egyptian journey of her great-great-grandmother, Louisa Shelley, a renowned artist of Victorian England.
Phyllis gives her Louisa’s journal from that trip up the Nile, and Anna decides to go. She takes along the journal and an antique scent bottle that also came from Louisa’s journey. It’s not long before Anna is forced to confront the power of the scent bottle and its role in ancient Egypt. We also meet a band of interesting characters along the way. She sits next to a handsome, aloof man on the plane who seems more interested in reading the diary over her shoulder than anything else, yet they are destined to meet again as they are both booked on the same cruise. His interest in the diary soon shifts to Anna herself. Also in the group is a practicing student of Egyptian occult who tries to help Anna when snakes and apparitions begin to appear. Anna clings to the diary and the hope that her great-great grandmother’s experience may guide her in some way.
Louisa’s story is a wonderful journey into the world of travel in Egypt at the dawn of the 20th century. She is widowed with two young sons awaiting her return to England, yet she is drawn to her handsome dragoman, Hassan. They must deal with the mores and prejudices of that era. Hassan purchased the bottle for Louisa, not realizing the supernatural power within its sealed interior.
Originally published in 2001, this book is a wonderful look at the exotic world of Egypt now and long ago. The evil surrounding the bottle in ancient Egypt is just as powerful today. Erskine never disappoints.