Year of the Hyenas
by Brad Geagley
Category: Fiction / Historical
291 pages; ISBN: 074325080X
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Year of the Hyenas
Simon & Schuster, Mar 2005, $23.00, 291 pp.
In 1153 BC Thebes, the Clerk of Investigations and Secrets Semerket is delegated with finding out who killed the popular much-loved Priestess Hetephras. Unbeknownst to Semerket is that his superiors selected him because they assume that the alcoholic acrimonious loser will fail. Then they can fire him for incompetence, but not before they blame him to the masses who demand the killer face vigilante justice; the pathetic Semerket would make a fine substitute as far as his bosses are concerned.
However, shockingly Semerket digs deep and soon uncovers tomb robbers that he begins to believe may be connected to his murder investigation. As he uncovers more clues, he begins to realize that this simple murder of a cherished figure and related robberies are just the surface covering up a conspiracy that he believes places the Pharaoh in peril. As Semerket drinks to ease his fears of what to do without losing his head, his decision making process is stolen from him when his beloved becomes a target.
YEAR OF THE HYENAS is a terrific Ancient Egypt police procedural starring an interesting protagonist; readers will agree with Semerket’s superiors that he is the last person they figure capable of solving anything. Semerket is an unpleasant grouch who makes a perfect foible for the conspirators except that no one realized how he would go the extra tomb or two to solve the case. Although the prose reads at times deliberately archaic giving the investigation an ancient feel that is difficult to follow, fans will enjoy Brad Geagley’s fine historical who-done-it.
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