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Tutankhamun: The Book of Shadows (Rai Rahotep #2)

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  489 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
“I’m glad that Rahotep, the policeman from Nefertiti: The Book of the Dead, has had a second outing. The central figure is the best known Egyptian of them all, Tutankhamun, and Nick Drake has written an engaging and convincing account of this doomed figure and the loyal and dogged Rahotep, the ‘seeker of mysteries’.” — Bookseller (London)

In this gripping central novel in N
ebook, 384 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published March 27th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Marilyn Saul
Sep 25, 2016 Marilyn Saul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't QUITE finished it yet, but, in all honesty, I hate to see it end and am putting off the inevitable until bedtime. Drake weaves a fantastic recreation of what it may have been like during Tut's reign, and this book is packed full of colorful descriptions of what are now ruins. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought the mystery engaging. Can't wait to read his other books! [As a caveat, my love of archaeology blossomed when, as an adolescent, I read "The Lost Queen of Egypt", the love story ...more
Gail Cooke
Jul 18, 2010 Gail Cooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

While a good mystery is always enjoyable, when that mystery is mixed with history it's even better. Such is surely the case with TUTANKAMUN. Intrigue, rich atmospheric detail, and more twists than are found in the narrow streets of ancient Egypt are seamlessly woven by Nick Drake (Nefertiti) to produce a can't-put-down tale.

Our narrator is Rahotep, a detective in ancient Egypt's police force. Happily married he is the father of four, three daughters on the cusp of womanhood and a young son. Ye
Sep 21, 2016 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tutankhamun is the novel of the Rai Rahotep mystery series by Nick Drake set in ancient Egypt. A handful of years have past since the first novel and Rahotep is back home in Thebes. A series of horrendous murders and a number of mysterious gifts left for the king and queen seem to be unrelated at first, but soon are found to be integral to each other.

Drake packs quite a bit of detail into his novels and for some readers, this overburdens this mystery thriller. I would have to disagree. The auth
Jul 30, 2010 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second book in this series is much like the first, an interesting historical mystery that too often - at least for me - gets bogged down in description and language to the detriment of pace and plotting.

Rahotep is a melancholy poet turned investigator who gets pulled into the intrigue of the palace during the reign of the famous Tutankhamun. What seems a simple investigation into mysterious objects found in the palace turns into a mystery that may cost Rahotep everything and puts the future
Oct 09, 2011 Natalie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was honestly not impressed with this book. It moved way too slowly, and I didn't care about any of the characters, or what happened to them. Even the King and Queen were extremely dull. The two storylines seemed completely disjointed, and not connected, as they supposedly were. Tutankhamun's death was anticlimactic and disappointing. The reveal of the serial murderer at the end was also anticlimactic. The only good thing I can say is that it was very historically accurate- and that is always a ...more
03/18 page 85 "Slogging along. Perhaps I'm just not in the mood for Egyptian mysteries. I haven't particularly liked any others and I'm not really a fan of Amelia Peabody either."

03/24 page 174 "This is proving impossible for me to finish. Sigh."

03/26 page 186 "I give up ... I am just not in the mood to trudge to the end of this book. I don't care about anyone in it. It's not that it takes place some 2300 years ago or that I know how it all turns out in the end. Its that this author doesn't ha
Clare Cannon
Jan 19, 2012 Clare Cannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adults
A fascinating story based on historical knowledge of the reign of 19 year old Tutankhamun. It is both historical fiction and a thrilling detective story which shows that people and politics are not so different now from then. Several murder descriptions are grim but are only elaborated as much as is necessary for the plot development.
You might enjoy Tutankhamun: The Book of Shadows by Nick Drake. It combines historical fiction and a good mystery.
Feb 09, 2013 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The boy king is brought to life in this mystery from ancient Egypt.
Enjoyed this read
Nicolas Shump
Jun 15, 2012 Nicolas Shump rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the second volume of his Egyptian trilogy, Nick Drake is in a groove when it comes to his narrative, material, and protagonist. In Tutankhamun: The Book of Shadows, Drake gives us another adventure and complex mystery that the determined Medjay detective, Rahotep endeavors to solve. At the end of his first volume, Nefertiti: The Book of the Dead, we are briefly introduced to two of the main characters in this story- Tutankhamun and his queen and half sister, Ankhesenamun.
In the previous text,
Feb 28, 2017 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, egypt
Wasn't a bad book but it wasn't what I thought it would be. It's more of a historical murder mystery which just really isn't my thing.
Aug 22, 2010 Maddy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
PROTAGONIST: Rahotep, chief detective of Thebes
SETTING: Ancient Egypt
SERIES: #2 of 2
RATING: 3.25

You’d think that there would be nothing new to say about such a famed historical figure as Tutankhamun (“King Tut”). Fortunately, Nick Drake proves that theory wrong in the second book of his Rahotep trilogy. Although highly fictionalized, Drake presents some fascinating conjectures about the final months of Tutankhamun’s life, a real life mystery whose solution has eluded us to this day.

Charline Ratcliff
I was recently perusing some book titles when “Tutankhamun: The Book of Shadows” caught my eye. Being fascinated with Ancient Egypt, having also written a novel that centered around Nefertiti, I of course decided that this book was a 'must read.'

Moving on to the review... “Tutankhamun: The Book of Shadows” is a brilliantly well-written tale. The author, Nick Drake, takes his readers on a fascinating journey that utilizes new information about Tutankhamun; knowledge that has only been acquired du
Ana T.
A while back the Historical Tapestry blog was asked to give some recommendations on books set in Ancient Egypt. One of the titles that came up at the time was Nick Drake's historical mysteries Nefertiti and Tutankhamun. When I was offered a chance to read the second I couldn't let it pass.

The story is a mystery set during Tutankhamun's reign. The main character is Rahotep, a Seeker of Mysteries. The fact that I haven't read the first book didn't really upset me except for the fact that Rahotep
Sep 07, 2010 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this sequel to Nefertiti in what is meant to be The Book of Shadows Trilogy, Drake has brought back Rahotep, a detective in the Medjay (police force) of Thebes. He is assigned to work a case in which a series of young people are barbarically mutilated and left to die. Each of the scenes seem to hold a message that somehow ties them to the royal family, which is currenltly led by Tutankhamun and his sister/wife Ankhesanamun under the regency of Ay. The young people also all seem to have been d ...more
Jim Leffert
Feb 20, 2013 Jim Leffert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second novel in Drake’s trilogy set in ancient Egypt is a full realized, immersive experience and a complex and satisfying mystery story.

In ancient Thebes, someone is menacing the adolescent Pharoah, Tutankhamun, and his adolescent Queen, Ankhesenamun, by placing objects with threatening messages in the palace. Simultaneously, out in the city, less prominent people are turning up assaulted and left for dead, their bodies mutilated. It falls to Rahotep, the Seeker of Mysteries, to figure out
Amanda Skoglund
Sep 01, 2014 Amanda Skoglund rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! Maybe it's because I have a thing for anchient Egypt, but I find this novel very good. There are not much action, maybe there should be more and to be honest, sometimes the book is a little slow. But the characters has REALLY grown in me since the first book of this series and I think Drake does a wonderful job with creating an atmosphere thorughout the book, if you ser what I mean. And I really want to point out how much I love the characters and the setting! I love ...more
Jun 27, 2015 Steffi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nick Drake does so well with adding in historical facts and theories to his Rai Rahotep series. He did such a fantastic job of telling his version of what he believes happened to Tutankhamun by taking historians views of the matter and adding in a little of his own thoughts. Though I wasn't expecting King Tut to take a bow out of the novel only half way through. We get to know Rahotep's family a little more. Something I really liked about Nefertiti was the relationship between Rahotep and Khety. ...more
Aug 17, 2010 Dyana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fictional account of the last days of Egypt's very young Pharoah Tutankhamun. The country is being ruled by Ay, Egypt's Regent, and the King has yet to claim his birthright. He is married to Ankhesenamun, daughter of Nefertiti and Ankenaten, who plots with him to take over their kingdom. This novel is also a mystery so mysterious and sinister "gifts" begin appearing at the palace to frighten the King and Queen and related murders of young people take place in the streets. Rahotep, chie ...more
Jan 24, 2011 Colleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, history-ish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 24, 2012 Papalodge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read a portion of Tut a year or so ago. Finally got back to it. Having recently finish readomg book #3, Tut provided a lead in to the next storyline.
Drake's gift for provinding depth to the life backgrounds of people and places brings his stories to a higher enjoyable experience.
When reading, I like to add accents to the characters speech patterns. At chapter 41, I provided the characters with an Irish accent, then switched to Eastern Tennesse. For a hoot throw in PA Dutch.

Just for fun....try r
Oct 26, 2010 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some time ago I read the first book in this series about a policeman or medjay (Rahotemp)in ancient Egypt. I liked it about as much as I liked this one. As I am about to go to Egypt I have been reading novels set in ancient Egypt and decided to try this one.

I didn't quite believe in the story is part of the problem. Another problem is the rather gruesome and bizarre nature of the murders by a serial killer. I generally avoid books concerning serial killers since they tend to be bizarre.

I did l
RATING: 2.5 stars.

A nice, quick read, "Tutankhamun" is a mystery set in Ancient Egypt. I liked the story, although I thought Rahotep didn't do much investigative work most of the time. Also, while Drake gets the overall descriptions of the places right, I felt he didn't really capture the ways of Ancient Egypt. The characters thinking was too modern, too 19th century England. The thought processes of most characters seemed out of place as did some expressions like when one character exclaims som
Rachael McDiarmid
This book just didn't do it for me. I found the writing relatively dull and interesting, the story pretty average. The other issue was related to expectation. I order most of my books pre-publication so I'm guessing the publisher's marketing material and their metadata got my interest. By the time the physical book was in my hand and I started reading, I was a little surprised it was an ancient murder mystery. Nothing like what I had originally anticipated! For goodness sake, you don't call a bo ...more
Jan 29, 2012 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thriller is a good description! I now have to get book 3 to see what happens.
This book is not for the faint of heart since the murders are pretty grisly. That said, the tension is held at a high level since you not only have a serial killer but the threats coming from Ay and General Horemheb. Rahotep is again in a situation with the Royal family that could leave him and his beloved family dead. I recommend that the author's notes at the back be read first so that the reader gains knowledge about
While there were still elements of this that were CSI Ancient Egypt - plenty of anachronisms and modern attitudes - I did feel this was a stronger work than the first in this series. It was more 3.5 stars than 4.

Drake says n his end notes that Robert Graves said his own novels sought to find answers to cryptic historical puzzles. This was Drake's attempt to solve the mysteries about the life and death of Tutankhamun. He includes a select bibliography and I felt he did capture a strong sense of
Mar 26, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't realise this was a sequel when I began reading because I normally am really obsessed about reading series' in order but it didn't seem to matter much with this one. I enjoyed the story and the characters but my one problem with it was that the main character - the detective - was just too modern. The way he thought about things and reacted and considered all screamed modern day. I actually started picturing him as Lestrade from Sherlock after the first few pages and then couldn't shake ...more
Holly Lindquist
Nick Drake's first mystery novel, Nefertiti, was intriguingly atmospheric but failed to provide anything more than a tottering, malnourished waif of a mystery plot. This sequel is more assured,yet it still has Drake's poetic touches to make it unique. Detective Rahotep's world-weary, cynical leanings come off a bit more smoothly on this second outing and I feel like I'm starting to get to know the guy. This is a satisfying mystery with a gritty, dark-edged Ancient Egyptian setting.
Nov 13, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although a work of fiction, the author draws on the few historical references to Tutankhamun, as well as medical research done on the young king's remains. Drake places many historical characters into his story, and makes them seem real and alive. The murder mystery with ancient Egypt as a backdrop works well. I see that there is a previous book to this one, concerning Nefertiti, and also featuring Drake's detective Rahotep. I will be sure to read that one as well. Very enjoyable!
Cheryl Carpinello
Dec 20, 2015 Cheryl Carpinello rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, though not as much as I did Nefertiti. The plot started off slow with it taking a few chapters for Rahotep to get into the action of story. The intrigue surrounding the 18th dynasty is kicked into high gear with the developments within the royal family. And the trust Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun place in the Seeker of Mysteries is warranted and a bit frightening. Have already started the third book in this series, Egypt, The Book of Chaos.
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Nick Drake was born in 1961. He lives and works in London. His first book-length collection, The Man in the White Suit (Bloodaxe Books, 1999), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 1999, and was selected for the Next Generation Poets promotion in 2004. From The Word Go was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2007. His most recent projects include a ...more
More about Nick Drake...

Other Books in the Series

Rai Rahotep (3 books)
  • Nefertiti: The Book of the Dead (Rai Rahotep, #1)
  • Egypt: the Book of Chaos (Rai Rahotep, #3)

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