Terror stalks the land of Egypt. An old enemy, the sect of Arites from Nubia, has risen from the dust and now strikes at the very heart of Egyptian soTerror stalks the land of Egypt. An old enemy, the sect of Arites from Nubia, has risen from the dust and now strikes at the very heart of Egyptian society. Everywhere the bodies of their victims appear with a characteristic red cord tied around their neck. Strangulation is the required method of sacrifice to their bloodthirsty hyena goddess. Pharoah Hatusu (Hatshepsut) herself comes under attack. Can this enemy not be stopped? Hatusu's chief judge, Amerotke, must find a way, but he himself has also been marked for assassination. The body count mounts and so does Amerotke's frustration.
The judge Amerotke is an attractive character. A humane man living in an inhumane time. The descriptions of the tortures that are visited upon prisoners are horrific and the descriptions of the everyday cruelties witnessed on a typical walk around Thebes are equally vivid and difficult for a reader with no stomach for violence such as myself, but, in the end, the reader feels that he/she has gained insight into that period in history and an empathy for the daily life of average people.
This series is set in what is for me one of the most fascinating periods of Egyptian history. A female pharaoh ruling the most powerful land on earth 3500 years ago(!) is bound to be of interest to any feminist living in the 21st century and wondering when true equality will ever be achieved in our society. When will we ever be able to elect a woman president, for example?
Doherty's research of the period and his ability to bring ancient Thebes to life for the reader are remarkable. He also plays fair with the readers and I was, in fact, able to figure out the mystery here well before the final chapters. I was quite proud of myself for that. ...more
This tells the background story of Lieutenant Bak and explains how he came to be a policeman. As such, it should really have been number one in the seThis tells the background story of Lieutenant Bak and explains how he came to be a policeman. As such, it should really have been number one in the series, but here it is - number seven. A prequel.
Lt. Bak is sent to the city of Buhen to command Medjay policemen. He meets with the commandant and within 24 hours that commandant, an honorable man, is dead, murdered possibly by his beautiful young wife who is found holding his body and covered in his blood. Bak is immediately attracted to her and finds himself unable to believe that one so fair could possibly be guilty of murder.
He quickly learns that the commandant was concerned about a scheme he had uncovered to steal the "flesh of the god" Amon - gold. He believes that the thief or thieves are responsible for the man's death.
In short order, two more men are violently killed and the plot thickens. Attempts are made on Bak's life. Is he getting too close to the truth?
He follows every clue, doggedly seeking the truth and hoping that it will clear the name of the woman he has come to love.
This is a well-plotted and interesting tale, my favorite in the series so far. ...more
For me, the Lieutenant Bak series by Lauren Haney suffers in comparison to Paul Doherty's and Linda Robinson's series about the same general period. TFor me, the Lieutenant Bak series by Lauren Haney suffers in comparison to Paul Doherty's and Linda Robinson's series about the same general period. Those books have more compelling and fully drawn characters and, I think, a better grasp of the history and action of the period.
That is not to say this is a bad series. In fact, I have enjoyed the earlier three works in the series more than I did this one. "A Place of Darkness" just seems kind of all over the place, unfocused, and I had a hard time getting into it.
I have three more books in the series waiting on my to-be-read shelf and I will definitely read them, but I hope for a more coherent plot and more engaging characters.
In this story, Bak is on his way from his post in Buhen to a new assignment in Mennufer. The early part of the story is taken up with explaining how he manages to get his entire entourage sent to Mennufer as well, but, here, he is in transit to the new posting and winds up investigating a series of mysterious deaths that have occurred during the construction of Hatshepsut's memorial.
What an interesting time that must have been in Egyptian history but this fictional telling of it just seems a bit bland. Of course, in the end Lieutenant Bak gets his man and lives to solve more crimes in future adventures. ...more
A long-awaited festival is underway. It has brought the co-rulers of Egypt, Hatshepsut and her nephew Thutmose, to participate in the grand processionA long-awaited festival is underway. It has brought the co-rulers of Egypt, Hatshepsut and her nephew Thutmose, to participate in the grand procession honoring the god Amon. But in the midst of the merrymaking, a murder most foul occurs, and Lieutenant Bak and his Medjays are brought in to assist with the investigation, even though it is outside their jurisdiction. Then another murder and another put a blight on the activities of the Feast. Are the murders related, even though the victims seem to have nothing in common other than death? Bak must find out before he becomes the fourth victim.
This entry in the Lieutenant Bak series is well-plotted. Bak continues to be a very appealing character, one whom the reader can identify with and wish well. ...more
This was the best book in this series so far. Lauren Haney's skills at plotting and drawing her characters seem to improve with each new entry.
In thisThis was the best book in this series so far. Lauren Haney's skills at plotting and drawing her characters seem to improve with each new entry.
In this story, Lieutenant Bak is enlisted by his commander on behalf of one of the commander's friends to go into the forbidding desert to search for the friend's son who has disappeared there. The man was an adventurer who loved the desert and the nomads who live there and who had spent some time there searching for gold and other precious minerals. The rumor is that he found them and the fear is that he was killed because of that find.
Bak sets out with a few of his Medjay and a guide of questionable character who also served as a guide for the missing man. Almost immediately, they encounter trouble and a mystery when they find an unknown man slain in the desert. They subsequently join forces with another group that is crossing the forbidding territory and further mayhem ensues.
Three more men die violently, including one of Bak's Medjays, and Bak becomes aware that the group is being followed, shadowed by a lone man who stays just out of their reach. Is he the murderer or is there some other purpose to his interest in the group?
Once again, Bak faces dangers as he is kidnapped and as attempts are made on his life. Where will it all end? Will Bak get his man once again? Can there truly be any doubt?
Okay, I've spent enough time in Hatshepsut's Egypt for now. Time to move on to something completely different for my next read, I think. But I'm sure I'll be back....more
I found this second book in the Lieutenant Bak series better plotted and paced than the first which I recently completed. The lieutenant and his cohorI found this second book in the Lieutenant Bak series better plotted and paced than the first which I recently completed. The lieutenant and his cohorts are appealing and sympathetic characters and the exposition of the culture from which they come is well-researched and pretty well-written. I think it is definitely a series with possibilities and I look forward to reading the next entry.
This book finds Bak trying to stop a smuggling enterprise on the river that is depriving the royal house of Kemet (Egypt) of its rightful revenues. I actually solved the central mystery of this tale, involving the whereabouts of an elephant tusk, very early on in the plot, but I enjoyed reading about how Bak worked it all out. In the process, he must confront a brutal murderer who will not hesitate to kill again to avoid discovery of his lucrative smuggling operation.
Lieutenant Bak again proves his mettle as an investigator and his compassion and worth as a human being....more
Each successive book in this series has held my interest more. This is the fourth one that I have read and, again, I found the characters engaging andEach successive book in this series has held my interest more. This is the fourth one that I have read and, again, I found the characters engaging and sympathetic and the description of the setting and day to day life in the ancient world believable.
In this Lt. Bak adventure, he must accompany a representative of the queen as he makes an inspection tour along the Belly of Stones. The large entourage draws the attention of a brigand of the desert and eventually comes under attack by him and his forces. And, of course, in the midst of it all, Bak must solve a murder which likewise threatens the peace. It is a well-crafted plot that moves along at a comfortable pace.
I look forward to the next adventure, but after having read four of these books in a row, I'm ready to move on to something else. ...more
I have previously read two ancient Egyptian mystery series - P.C. Doherty's Lord Amerotke series and Linda S. Robinson's Lord Meren. I loved them bothI have previously read two ancient Egyptian mystery series - P.C. Doherty's Lord Amerotke series and Linda S. Robinson's Lord Meren. I loved them both. I love learning about an era which fascinates me and being entertained by a mystery at the same time.
This series, of which "The Right Hand of Amon" is the first book, seems to have a very different focus. It takes place far away from the halls of power for one thing whereas the other two are steeped in the machinations of the ruling class. It offers a sympathetic view of the day-to-day life of ordinary Egyptians and those who live in territories controlled by them.
The protagonist here is Lieutenant Bak, the commander of the Medjay police in the frontier fortress city of Buhen, and it seems he will have mysteries aplenty to solve! He is an appealing character and may well grow on me, although this first effort by his creator I would only rate as fair. I have the next three books in the series "to be read" and I'll be interested to see how the character of Bak develops. ...more
The more time I spend with Lieutenant Bak of the Medjay police in the time of queen Hatshepsut of Kemet (ancient Egypt) the better I like him. He andThe more time I spend with Lieutenant Bak of the Medjay police in the time of queen Hatshepsut of Kemet (ancient Egypt) the better I like him. He and his companions seem very believable and the picture that is painted in these books of daily life in Egypt seems at least based in fact. Who can know what it was really like to live in that land, and yet such tales as this do give us an inkling, I think.
In this story, Bak must unmask a mass murderer in order to save the unworthy life of a local governor. As with the last book, I solved the mystery long before Bak, but it was fun to watch the process by which the lieutenant tied up all the loose ends and finally came to the correct conclusion.
As ancient Egyptian mystery series go, this one is a worthy entry. ...more