A suspense/romance based on Egyptology by screenwriter/first-novelist Siebert. The magical moments and spine of fantasy holding the story together at first seem less important than the realistic aspects, but soon the fantasy prevails. There’s this ankh, you see, oversized and carved from quartz. It can raise the dead. The ankh has been split in half, and one half is stored in the cellar of the Metropolitan Museum. Several murders happen at the museum, and Director Dan Rawlins’s beautiful female assistant is clawed to death under Cleopatra’s Needle in Central Park by a big black bird with a human head. Anyway, the bad guys want to join the two halves of the ankh together, because that gives them the power of time travel. A number of the people killed are touched by just half an ankh and restored to life—even Dan. Or to man/birdhood. Pre-Egyptian priestesses still alive after thousands of years want the ankh because it’s theirs. Then there’s the pussycat that kills and is a spy. Now all this gives the wrong impression about a rich trove of archaeological detail as gripping as the fancy at work herein. Also, Mossad and Palestinian terrorists are . . . Oh, forget it. Egyptology, what a can of worms.