Terran's Reviews > Crocodile on the Sandbank

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
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's review
Mar 31, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: for-fun, reviewed
Read in March, 2009

I read this book on advice from my friend Amanda, who's a big fan. It was a fairly light read, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

Like many Europeans since the Eighteenth Century, I am fascinated by "antiquities" and especially by Egypt. It's such an ancient and alien culture, yet one that has, in some ways, shaped who we are today. And those who know me will also know my interest in the Victorians. So what better to do than take a romp down the Nile in the late Nineteenth Century and ferret out a mystery at the same time?

I found the protagonist fun to read, but a bit hard to take -- I think I would hate her in person. But it's certainly fun to watch her bulldog her way through Egypt and then run her unstoppable force against an immovable object. What impressed me most, for a mostly popcorn novel, was that she actually developed through the course of the story, becoming a (IMHO) much more enchanting character as she becomes more aware of the people around her.

I was equally surprised to, well, be surprised by this novel. While still being a solid and recognizable member of the mystery genre, it managed to pull a couple of unexpected bits out of its hat. (The solution to the mystery was not one of them, though the nature of the mystery turned out to be one! No spoilers on that, though.)

And, of course, the scenery is hard to beat...

At any rate, it was not a deep or complicated book, but, then, I have plenty of examples of those. But it was engaging enough that I'm willing to go looking for more in the series.
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