THE HORUS KILLINGS by Paul Doherty
Headline - Oct 1999
ISBN: 074722241X

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde, MyShelf.Com
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Judge Amerotke, the latest in quite a line-up of amiable sleuths from the seething pen of Paul Doherty returns for a second outing in this book.  This time the priests are not happy that Divine Pharoah is a woman despite her riding forth in best Boadicea fashion at the head of the army and giving those Mitanni a thorough pasting.  Their argument is that as there has been no previous case of a woman ruling Egypt how can Hatusu (Hatshepsut) dare to flout convention?  Soon after her victorious arrival  in the Royal City there is a death in the Temple of Horus and this is taken as a sign that the gods are angry.  Then there is the mysterious labyrinth out in the desert where so many Egyptians died during the reign of the Hyksos and when people start dying like flies who ya gonna call?  Amerotke of course and his trusty sidekick the dwarf Shufoy.

If you like the Paul Doherty style you will enjoy this hugely.  Sinister cults, people being horribly murdered, squalor side by side with luxury and everywhere from courts to markets bursting with intrigue most foul.  The pace never flags and despite all this larger-than-life flamboyance Dohertyís Egypt has the ring of truth about it.  We are far from the theme park gloss of Jacq but it is not all gloom and doom either.  These are civilized people with a love of life and luxury but this is the ancient world and they donít behave as though they had been wafted back from the 1990s.  Doherty has done his homework well and it shows.  Personally I enjoyed this novel thoroughly and look forward to the next one.  If you like Judge Dee you will love this too.

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