Fans of James Lee Burke or Lee Child will enjoy a two-millennium time shift to tour the dark corners of ancient Egypt.

RAIDERS OF THE NILE

Saylor’s (The Seven Wonders, 2012, etc.) latest historical adventure chronicles young Gordianus’ adventures as he gets trapped in a scheme to loot Alexander the Great’s sarcophagus.

Son of the famous Gordianus the Finder, young Gordianus has traveled to Alexandria, Egypt, in 88 B.C. There, he too works as a finder, adding a few coins to his purse, but his treasure is Bethesda, a beautiful slave he’s taken into his bed—and his heart. Celebrating Gordianus’ 22nd birthday, the couple watches a street-mime troupe. One of the performers is beautiful Axiothea, who looks so much like Bethesda she could be her twin. After the ribald performance is broken up by King Ptolemy’s troopers, Bethesda disappears. Gordianus learns she’s been mistaken for Axiothea, who’s thought to be the mistress of wealthy merchant Trafhapy. Bethesda’s being held for ransom in the Nile delta by a thief known as the Cuckoo’s Child, and therein the plot: Gordianus treks into the wilderness looking for Bethesda, accompanied by opportunistic Djet, Trafhapy's slave boy. The pair finds the Cuckoo's Nest—think Butch Cassidy's Hole-in-the-Wall—but the quest is made even more dangerous by the fact that the Cuckoo's Child, Artemon, has fallen in love with Bethesda. Then Gordianus finds himself tangled in Artemon's scheme to loot Alexander’s tomb, part of a wider conspiracy involving Ptolemy's brother Soter. Saylor’s action runs nonstop, from political unrest to murders at a rural inn to a mob seeking to kill Gordianus to a pirate raid on Alexandria. Gordianus leaps from the pages as a modern trope—a wisecracking, good-hearted charmer—and Saylor frames him against an entrancing interpretation of ancient Egypt, from slaves, sun, mosquitoes, brothels and markets to derring-do swordplay, the Pharos Lighthouse and the vibrant streets of the fabled city.

Fans of James Lee Burke or Lee Child will enjoy a two-millennium time shift to tour the dark corners of ancient Egypt.

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-01597-6

Page Count: 351

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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An undisciplined but powerfully lacerating story, by an author who knows every block of the neighborhood and every hair on...

MYSTIC RIVER

After five adventures for Boston shamus Patrick Kenzie and his off-again lover Angela Gennaro (Prayers for Rain, 1999, etc.), Lehane tries his hand at a crossover novel that’s as dark as any of Patrick’s cases.

Even the 1975 prologue is bleak. Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus are playing, or fighting, outside Sean’s parents’ house in the Point neighborhood of East Buckingham when a car pulls up, one of the two men inside flashes a badge, and Sean and Jimmy’s friend Dave Boyle gets bundled inside, allegedly to be driven home to his mother for a scolding but actually to get kidnapped. Though Dave escapes after a few days, he never really outlives his ordeal, and 25 years later it’s Jimmy’s turn to join him in hell when his daughter Katie is shot and beaten to death in the wilds of Pen Park, and State Trooper Sean, just returned from suspension, gets assigned to the case. Sean knows that both Dave and Jimmy have been in more than their share of trouble in the past. And he’s got an especially close eye on Jimmy, whose marriage brought him close to the aptly named Savage family and who’s done hard time for robbery. It would be just like Jimmy, Sean knows, to ignore his friend’s official efforts and go after the killer himself. But Sean would be a lot more worried if he knew what Dave’s wife Celeste knows: that hours after catching sight of Katie in the last bar she visited on the night of her death, Dave staggered home covered with somebody else’s blood. Burrowing deep into his three sorry heroes and the hundred ties that bind them unbearably close, Lehane weaves such a spellbinding tale that it’s easy to overlook the ramshackle mystery behind it all.

An undisciplined but powerfully lacerating story, by an author who knows every block of the neighborhood and every hair on his characters’ heads.

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2001

ISBN: 0-688-16316-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

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Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

OUT OF RANGE

Crime-fighting Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett outdoes himself during a temporary transfer from sleepy Saddlestring to fashionable Jackson Hole.

Will Jensen, the Jackson game warden, was a great guy and a model warden, but once his wife left him six months ago, he spiraled into madness and suicide, and now Joe’s been called to replace him. The transition is anything but smooth. There’s no question of Joe’s family coming with him, so he’s reduced to hoping he can get a signal for the cell-phone calls he squeezes into his busy schedule. En route to his new posting, Joe has to pursue a marauding grizzly. He arrives to meet a formidable series of challenges. Cantankerous outfitter Smoke Van Horn wants to go on attracting elk with illegal salt licks without the new warden’s interference. Animal Liberation Network activist Pi Stevenson wants him to publicize her cause and adopt a vegan diet. Developer Don Ennis wants to open a housing development for millionaires who like their meat free of additives. Ennis’s trophy wife Stella simply wants Joe—and he wants her back. As he wrestles with these demands, and with a supervisor riled over Joe’s track record of destroying government property in pursuit of bad guys (Trophy Hunt, 2004, etc.), Joe slowly becomes convinced that Will did not kill himself.

Joe’s fifth case is his best balanced, most deeply felt and most mystifying to date: an absolute must.

Pub Date: May 5, 2005

ISBN: 0-399-15291-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2005

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