A complicated mystery thriller that weaves alternative history set in ancient Egypt with forensic archeology from the present. Medical illustrator Kate McKinnon and radiologist Max Cavanaugh join their artistic and medical talents when confronted by a mysterious mummy from 1350 B.C.E., a period of social and economic chaos following the reign of heretic Akhenaten. The intersecting narrative from the journal of ancient physician Tenre maintains suspense by keeping you a step ahead of Kate and Max's investigation of the fascinating mummy called Tashat. Her fractured bones, the male head between her legs, and the extensive and realistic drawings covering her coffin suggest an old story of sexual politics and royal murders. But can Kate uncover Tashet's identity and her link to the mysterious Nefertiti before she falls victim herself to the institutional politics of contemporary archeology—especially when their director, Dave Broverman, protects his chair almost as ruthlessly as successive pharaohs defended their thrones? Brave women artists here humanize daring male physicians, ancient and modern, in parallel tales of personal and professional intrigue, loss and recovery. Thurston pulls her tales together with a clever device that closes the forensic search and the ancient story simultaneously—Kate and Max read the ending to an audience of their own—though Max's unifying artifact and Kate's budding "genetic memory" both flirt with the fantastic and hint at a sequel.
However far ahead you keep on the What, the teasing emphases on How and Why will drive them to the conclusion of the religious, medical, and social alternative histories that newcomer Thurston so stirringly mixes.