A team of experts attempts to explore a newly discovered pyramid in the Sahara in this debut archaeological thriller.
When a freak storm appears suddenly in Niger, a group of British and American archaeologists examining a newly discovered Saharan tomb is forced to take shelter in the underground complex. After surviving a harrowing night there, the band emerges to discover the storm has blown away the massive sand dunes that surrounded the site—and revealed what had been long buried underneath: “The land dipped away from them into a wide valley. Most of the valley was taken up by a prehistoric city. In the middle of the city, a large pyramid with smooth silver sides stood gleaming in the sun.” As the archaeologists rush to decipher the secrets of the pyramid—a structure that seems to exhibit technological prowess that makes little sense according to their understanding of human history—news of their find reaches a small island in the English Channel. There, a rogue billionaire has assembled an elite, private military force. Led by the no-nonsense James Cavill, the warriors are sent by their employer to launch an investigation of their own. It seems that satellites have picked up a massive energy source emanating from the silver pyramid. Considering that the pyramid has been buried for thousands of years, there is reason to suggest that the source might be sustainable. The only issue—for Cavill and the archaeologists wandering through the newly materialized city—is who else might be searching for the ancient secrets of the Sahara. Arkwright writes in a lean, taut prose that pushes the plot forward at a rapid pace. The premise is compelling, and the reader becomes quickly engrossed in the mysteries contained within the pyramid. While the dialogue is often overly expositional, and the book is ultimately more interested in gunfights than in prehistoric civilizations, fans of the genre should be entertained by this action story set in one of the world’s remotest regions. The author shows no interest in excavating any deep truths, but he proceeds to tell a suitably swashbuckling tale.
An enjoyable, if ultimately shallow, adventure beneath the sands.