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3.58  ·  Rating details ·  4,166 ratings  ·  226 reviews
It was the magic and mystery of an empire long past that beautiful Erica Baron came to explore. Innocently she cast her eyes in forbidden places and discovered the clue to a treasure beyond imagination. It was then that terror overtook her, as the most fearful curse of the ancient world and the most savage menace of the modern one threatened to destroy her. One dangerously ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 1st 1983 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 1979)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,166 ratings  ·  226 reviews

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Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this book back when I was I think in the 10th grade so it suffices to say I don't remember much of the main plot line at all except that it had nothing to do with medicine and the mystery was based in Egypt. I wouldn't mind reading it again if I find a copy to refresh my memory... ...more
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Sphinx is not the usual medical thriller by Cook but an adventurous mystery set in Egypt. I liked it at the time, but to be honest I prefer his medical stories.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, 2017
I first saw the movie with Lesley-Anne Down as Erica Baron about an archaeologist who comes to Egypt to see a golden statue of the pharaoh Seti I in an antiques shop and when the proprietor gets killed and the statue taken she finds herself in danger. She essentialy gets involved in an in-fight between the various fractions of the Black Market selling Egyptian archaeological artifacts and the ministry responsible in stopping the traffic and selling of Egyptian treasures. The whole plot hinges on ...more
Sarah (needs a break from reviewing)
Read for the 2017 POPSUGAR Challenge prompt 'A Book that's Been on Your TBR List for Way too Long'


I have read this before, but not in at least a decade and I had obviously forgotten a number of pertinent plot points, enough that I might as well have been reading it for the first time.

The main thing that I had forgotten and was surprised (and not pleased) to read was that there was a love triangle (or maybe square) between Erica
J.H. Moncrieff
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it

A decent thriller with a side of Egyptian mystery, this was a quick and engaging read. While I didn't really care about the protagonist so much, and wondered why she kept assessing how beautiful she looked each day in her mind (is this how men believe women think? When I was in Egypt, the last thing I cared about was how my tan set off my dress), the novel had a good plot that kept one guessing, especially about the ancient-Egyptian aspect of the mystery.

Recommended if you like adventure stor
May 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Perhaps this was Robin Cook's thinking:

"Sphinx" = Egypt
"Sphinx" = riddle
"Riddle" = mystery
Sphinx = mystery in Egypt.

In any case, no sphinx figures into the plot of this novel, but it is an Egyptological mystery/thriller.

Young, beautiful Egyptologist Erica Baron, while on a sort of working vacation in Egypt, unexpectedly gets taken into the confidence of a black market antiquities dealer. The dealer shows her a fabulous statue of Seti I, a New Kingdom Pharaoh who ruled shortly after Tutankhamen,
Elizabeth Noah Astle
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have read other Robin Cook books that are all medical. This one has nothing to do with medicine.

This story is about Erica, an Egyptologist from Boston, who has traveled to Egypt as she has wanted to do for years and to get some time/space from Richard her boyfriend. On her first day there, she witnesses a murder, and sees a rare statue of Seti I. From then on, she meets a few people, Yvon and Ahmed, who claim that they want to help her as they are trying to stop the black market on antiquitie
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, robin-cook
I’ve bought this book back in the 80s, when I was a pre-teenager and, as every kid, fascinated by Egypt. I started reading it by then but, when I was halfway through it, I noticed that the copy that I had bought was missing some 50 pages, so I had to stop and actually never went after a complete edition.
30 years later, I’ve found a copy that was complete, and I started reading it again, and finished yesterday. It is a nice story, very different from all Robin Cook’s book (no medical thriller her
May 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This. Was. Woeful. I can recommend the first half for a good cringe. But don’t subject yourself to the rest of it.
John Beta
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Note to the synopsis first! I randomly choose a Cook novel and I expected a medical thriller. This is not. Just a run-of-the-mill hunt for Egyptian artifacts. Sorry, no thrills, no mind-bending medical breakthroughs. Done at 25%. Moving on.
Gabriela Silva
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is probably the worst book I've read from Robin Cook. Not only was weird (because usually they are related with doctors and medicine) but also weak in characters. Erica was 100% stupid. Come on she just hushed herself from man to man as some kind of b**** and felt happy to have so much male attention. And worse! She was naive enough to be fooled by everyone - although the ending was.. kind of unexpected. I couldn't find anything remotely interesting in this book. ...more
Saraswati Urao
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This Book is totally adventurous and so fiction in it. Erica is so intelligent and brave.Hope is the best medicine to get anything you want.
The valley of kings and queen.
And while reading this book, my whole memory spent in Egypt was coming to live, the Giza Pyramids and the desert, the scorching heat.
Thank God i entered in one of the tomb
Feb 15, 2021 rated it liked it
A novel steeped in the details and mysteries of both ancient and modern Egypt. Sometimes with awkward dialogue but overall a fun action read.
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
it was a good reading journey, it was like im living in the old times, better yet i lived in egypt with erica and sensed all her emotions through tempting adventure.... a must read
Mar 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tutto-cook
I read almost all the books of Robin Cook and this is the one I like less. The plot is fine, characters are fine, the book is just that: fine.
A young, beautiful american girl with a doctorate in egyptology finally has the chance to travel to this country. If she were an Italian tourist she would have had food, a romance and some horrible souvenirs; if she were German, a sunburn; but no, she's American, so she witness a murder the very first day of her touring. Obviously she doesn't report it to
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-physical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 30, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Overall a good read, with lots of exciting scenes in fantastic settings, but the author seems to have trouble in getting a life-like woman on paper. The negatives are 1) the naive, oblivious heroine who has a doctorate but no judgment at all and who manages to escape major injury despite herself, 2) the awkward, unrealistic dialogue whenever she is involved in the conversation, and 3) the author's propensity for having most of his male characters fall in love with her at first sight. ...more
Nikhil Singh
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Moving away from his forte ( medical thrillers ), I think robin cook has done a great job in writing a novel that encompasses history ( ancient Egypt ) and the current situation in Egypt. Also, I love the character of Erica. She is beautiful, smart and is damn good at what she does.

All in all, if you are a robin cook fan, you must read this book. It will give you a different angle of his writing capabilities.
Mareli Thalwitzer
Jan 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: iriver-epub
I love Robin Cook. Especially if you are just looking for a quick read (Sunday afternoon, want to finish the damn book in one sitting). His novels always keeps me intrigued, but THIS - this was the biggest load of crap I've read in years. AND I finished it.... But I guess that is how we grow. Three years later it doesn't bother me as much to just put a book down, leave both of us in peace and just read the next one! ...more
Kim Geiger
Jun 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Read this book a long time ago. However, loved it so much I searched a while to find the title. Egypt and was a fabulous read! Would like to read it again.
Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

Page turning beach fare. Still pretty entertaining after 35 years, although the late 1970's/early 80's *feel* creeps up now and again.
Richard Karns
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Although far-fetched at times I still found this an enjoyable read. Being a history nut anyway I really enjoyed some of the archeological aspects of the storyline.
Aditi Varma
Nov 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Week 46, Book 86
Sphinx by Robin Cook
Rating: 3/5

I'm way behind my challenge, but I'm glad after a long time I finished a book. Festivals, travel, work, moving houses... Everything has led me to read much less than before and I'm afraid I won't be able to complete my target :/

Anywho. I came to know about this book through the Senior Reading Raccoons group when looking for historical fiction based on Egypt. I am fascinated by ancient Egypt and in another life I'm sure I'll study to be an Egyptolog
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
So this is the second novel that I've read by Robin Cook. SPHINX.

It was an interesting read. Giving history about Tutankhamen & Seti I of Egypt.

I've always found Egypt intriguing & mysterious.

The Egyptian pyramids & the Valley of the Kings is most fabled.

Which leads me into the character Erica Baron, an Egyptologist. Whose dream has been to see Egypt with her own eyes and do some transcribing of the hieroglyphics well.

Very Very Interesting, considering it's the 1920's. She a women, traveling alo
David Zimny
Jan 09, 2021 rated it liked it
Sphinx is only the second Robin Cook novel I have read that does not take place primarily in hospitals. The other is Invasion, which was a straight science fiction story. Erica Baron is an Egyptologist in Egypt for vacation, but also to do a little work for her position at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. While in an antique shop in Cairo she sees a life-size statue of the great Egyptian king Seti I, adorned with jewels and obviously priceless. Violence ensues while she is in the shop and the sta ...more
Susan Biel
Jul 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
I barely made it to the middle of this book when I abandoned it. While the first chapter had my heart pounding with the tension of it, it fell apart as soon as the main character and the wholly unbelievable string of events happened to her, and the stilted, wannabe romance novel dialog. Yuck. I LOVE Egyptology and I have seen four exhibits throughout the U.S. in my lifetime and this was a flat out disappointment with brief mentions of anything Egyptian! {Book Club choice} From this, I am disincl ...more
Charles Vrooman
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read a good number of Robin Cook’s medical thrillers, especially his series with Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery. However, the thriller, “Sphinx”, is the first non medical thriller I’ve read by Robin Cook. Even though I enjoyed his medical thriller, I wasn’t disappointed with this action filled thriller. This novel allowed me to see how talented this best selling author is as a writer. His description of Egypt and its archeological wonders was incredible. The ending with its action and ...more
Uche Chilaka
Apr 22, 2021 rated it it was ok
Points for keeping the pages turning - but definitely marketed to a different time. Erica's perspective often made me flinch (I think this has a lot to do with reading the book in 2021) and things seemed to rush to an action stuffed end. Seems like what a man would imagine goes on in the mind if a 1970s woman(?).

It was easy enough to read (entertaining for all the WTFs) and can now go off my list of "things I own but am unsure if I've read".
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first Robin Cook book that I have ever read. Currently I am a British expat living in Cairo and this book was magical for me as his descriptions of places like khan el khalil souq are so true to life even 3o years after the book was written. Loved the book and even went on to track down the 1980's film of the book and watched this as well. ...more
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sphinx by robin cook 2 20 Apr 20, 2011 10:50AM  
sphinx by robin cook 1 7 Feb 06, 2010 06:53AM  

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Librarian Note: Not to be confused with British novelist Robin Cook a pseudonym of Robert William Arthur Cook.

Dr. Robin Cook (born May 4, 1940 in New York City, New York) is an American doctor / novelist who writes about medicine, biotechnology, and topics affecting public health.

He is best known for being the author who created the medical-thriller genre by combining medical writing with the thri

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