Pamela's Reviews > A River in the Sky

A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters
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Oct 13, 2010

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Read in July, 2010

It is 1910, archaeologists Amelia and Emerson are at loose ends. They’ve been banned from digging in Egypt so there’s no going back there. Then George Morley shows up on their doorstep and talks to them about the Ark of the Covenant. He believes he knows where it is located. Of course, Amelia is intrigued, while Emerson lets it be known that anything associated with the Bible is hogwash.

This is the 19th outing for the archaeologists. It was hard to tell what the story was really about. The Ark was introduced in the first chapter and then ignored for 150+ pages. Yes, Amelia and Emerson head to Jerusalem ostensibly to keep an eye on Morley as he excavates at the Temple Mount. Yes, there is some intrigue when suspected German spies are introduced, but that is really never substantiated. Amelia and Emerson essentially ignore Morley except for Emerson ordering Morley to have another archaeologist present. It is never explained why Emerson believes he can order Morley about or why Morley would pay any attention what so ever to him or why that more experienced archaeologist isn’t Emerson.The more experienced archaeologist is a German woman whose credentials are not to be believed. Emerson, in the meantime, has decided to dig in the vicinity of Morley’s dig, but it takes a long time to get to the whys of his decision and even then the reader is left wondering what made him choose that site.

There is so little of substance in this book, including archaeology and mystery. The only mystery is who two of the minor characters really are. Saying that this outing has anything to do with archaeology and/or mystery and the Ark of the Covenant is a doing the potential reader a huge disservice.

It didn’t take long to be annoyed with Emerson. He was rude, whiny, overbearing, and a curmudgeon. Somewhere in the first chapter, I really wanted Amelia to tell him to shut up, but she didn’t. By the final chapter, I was so tired of being told that his nickname was the “Father of Curses,” I wanted to throw the book across the room.

By far the most interesting character was Ramses, their son, especially since he was nothing like his father. At least his actions made sense even when they turned out not to be in his best interest.

All in all a very disappointing read.

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