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Year of the Hyenas (Semerket, #1)
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Year of the Hyenas (Semerket #1)

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3.7  ·  Rating details ·  313 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
"Year of the Hyenas" is a brilliant, original, and unique murder mystery, set in ancient Egypt at the height of that kingdom's glory and power. It is at once a strikingly insightful portrait of a mysterious, complex, and sophisticated society, reminiscent of Norman Mailer's "Ancient Evenings" in its wonderful detail and feel for the past, and a fast-paced detective story t ...more
Hardcover, 291 pages
Published February 8th 2005 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2005)
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ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
From the Introduction: “THOUGH Year of the Hyenas is a work of fiction, the mystery depicted in the book is based on history’s oldest known “court transcripts,” the so-called Judicial Papyrus of Turin, the Papyrus Rifaud, and the Papyrus Rollin. ”

Year of the Hyenas is a murder mystery at its core. It starts with a murder of an old, half-blind Theban priestess. The man sent to solve it is chosen seemingly for not having allegiance to anyone but the truth. This simple case with a number of suspec
...more
Emily
I enjoy mysteries set in historical eras because of the details of everyday life: for example, here Semerket is a Clerk of Investigations and Secrets, working for the two mayors of Thebes and the vizier after the death of a priestess in the Valley of the Kings (what they call "The Great Place"). It's not as far away from Philip Marlowe as you might think, particularly since Semerket has a drinking problem and can't stay away from the wine.

I really liked how the mythos of ancient Egypt was woven
...more
Maria Thomarey
3,5 χορταστικό
Ren
Mar 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: egypt-myth
3 stars

Bisa kasih 4 bintang, kalau aja TERJEMAHANNYA oke!!

Bukan, bukan berarti secara keseluruhan terjemahannya jelek. Malah menurut gue, enak dibaca, ngalir, ya rada kaku - kaku, tapi terjemahan mana sih yang gaul banget (malah kalau kelewat gaul, jatuhnya kayak buku PJO pertama yang bikin gue puyeng dengan prokemnya itu). Yang gue masalahin adalah SELINGKUNGnya! Yang tidak tahu selingkung apa, ini adalah gaya bahasa penerbit tertentu. Gue pertama kali nemu ini pas baca Silent in the Grave, da
...more
Alexa Ayana
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dari semua sejarah negara tua, Mesir selalu ada di posisi no 1 favoritku. Ketertarikan ini susah dijelaskan tapi cukuplah menjadi dasarku untuk membaca apapun yang berbau Mesir di dalamnya.
Brad Geagley adalah nama baru bagiku, dan novel ini menawarkan hal-hal baru dari genre favoritku, sisi misteri dari pembunuhan yang terjadi di masa Mesir kuno. Kisah pembunuhan disini benar-benar tercatat dalam kitap kasus Peradilan Mesir, tapi Brad juga menyisipkan unsur-unsur fiksi bak film Indiana Jones se
...more
Pamela
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really wasn't sure whether I wanted to read this book. I've never been grabbed by Ancient Egypt, so the cover didn't appeal, and the over-enthusiastic synopsis on Goodreads awoke all my cynicism. But it came highly recommended by someone whose views on historical mysteries usually correspond with mine, so I picked it up. Good move!

This is a compelling story, mixing the sophisticated history and politics of Ancient Egypt with the story of a group of ordinary working people in a way that really
...more
Jerry Bennett
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was very entertaining. The plot unfolded as the story progressed, with just enough information withheld to always leave me guessing as to what might happen next. The main characters were all well written and very believable, and you could feel real empathy with many of them, including some of the villains. The description of the countryside around Thebes was detailed enough that I found it easy to "picture" it in my mind. I would certainly like to read the next book in the se ...more
J. Else
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-egypt
The author has a talent in bringing to life the ancient landscape and city life. Its not written as a generic washout of the culture, climate, and beliefs. Instead, these three items are richly detailed. The House of Purification visit was particularly vividly depicted by sights, sounds, and smells as well as the roles of the individuals working there. I enjoyed the strong ancient cultural feel to the story. The characters are also well fleshed out. Geagley pens out emotions well so the reader c ...more
Liz
Apr 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kiosk
SPOILER ALERTS:

After a night's sleep, I have removed a star from this book. Some of the characters were well developed, some were not. The story just wasn't smooth, and didn't seem to allow the character to change. Nenry was the only character who changed, and that was by hitting his wife, and having a servant murder her. The book ends, with the reader questioning whether or not Semerket will pick the bottle back up. A big deal was made of his alcoholism throughout the book, but the author conti
...more
cindy
stlh bbrp kali baca campuran crimefic+hisfic dgn setting jepang kuno, kali ini mencoba mix yg sama dengan setting mesir kuno.

bayangkan adegan flashback film the mummy di kota thebes jaman dahulu kala, lembah para raja, kuil2 dan makam firaun, dlsb, lalu tambahkan tokoh detektif putus cinta ala cormoran strike ke dalamnya. itulah rasa novel ini.

misterinya cukup dalam, meski tetap terasa cozy waktu membacanya. dan masalahnya (seperti kuduga saat membaca sinopsisnya) merembet kemana-mana sampai a
...more
Joy
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Semerket, former Clerk of Investigations and Secrets under Ramses III, is now a winesoaked madman, wailing nightly outside the gate of his ex-wife. Before her new husband quite kills Semerket, the murder of an old priestess requires the skills of a clerk of investigations. Once he is isolated in the village of artists and builders working on Pharoah's tomb, Semerket discovers that no one in the village wants him to learn who killed their priestess. The village elders have some strange allies in ...more
Gretchen
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ancient-egypt
So many novels about Ancient Egypt focus on life within the royal court or royal harem. This novel was a pleasant departure for from glittering drama of a royal court. While the Pharaoh and his wives are never far from the plot of the novel, the main focus is on the tomb builder village. I have seen several documentaries featuring archaeologists and historians discussing how these tomb building villages work but I've never taken the time to read about these village. This novel gives the reader a ...more
Madeleine Drake
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Geagley brings ancient Egypt alive in this gripping mystery. I loved Semerket and his dedication to learning the truth, no matter how ugly it turns out to be. The story is intertwined with actual historical events, and the hero gets sucked up into the assassination plot of Ramses in a believable way. Tightly-plotted, with well-developed characters and a vivid setting that fascinates without bogging the action down. Marry me, Brad! Oh wait, that's right, I'm already married. I guess I'll have to ...more
Cait S
Apr 10, 2015 rated it liked it
I genuinely did not know that this was a thing that existed. A marriage between "cozy" mystery (although this one is slightly more gruesome than cozy generally implies) and historical fiction. I'm happy to have discovered this since a lot of challenges require historical fiction books--aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I loathe that genre with all of my soul.

But I love mysteries.

This book was pretty good. It got really long winded and bogged down at the end, I'd say the last 20% was a serious chore to read
...more
Annmarie
Jul 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: egypt
This is a historical mystery set in Egypt at the time of Ramses III. Features a pretty classic gumshoe character, the ladies like him and he's a troubled yet standup guy, determined to get to the bottom of the murder of a minor priestess though powerful forces around him don't seem to want that.
Some problematic bits about strong women, and the detective's apparent alcoholism. Not sure if I'm on board with the author's treatment of both. But the interesting Egyptian historical aspects and the fas
...more
Yavianti Yavianti
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buku ini keren. Saya berasa naik kapsul waktu menuju ke Mesir Kuno dan diajak ikut semerket a.k.a Ketty, tokoh utama dalam cerita ini, untuk bermain detektif2an yang seru. Berasa nonton CSI tapi versi yang lebih seru karena ada nuansa mistik dewa-dewa Mesir Kuno. Tidak sabar nunggu sekuelnya, day of false King, yang kemarin saya pesan di olshop, datang.
Felicia
Sep 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! This is a murder mystery set in ancient Egypt. The setup is a little slow, but it gives you a chance to get to know the characters. It is accessible but still giving an fairly clear picture of the setting. Worth putting on hold at the library.
Donna
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Not bad. I found the plot moved along nicely. It gives you an idea as to the lifestyle of the Egyptians in that era.
Susan
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This one was between three and four stars for me, but I tend to round up for first books of a new series, especially when overall I enjoyed the read.

I found Semerket a complex, sympathetic character that at times I still disliked, while overall appreciating his 'humanness' and having compassion for him and his healing journey. Semerket, while fallible is also a man of truth and honour. Similarly, I found the other characters (and there were many) read as 'real' and despite the numbers and unfami
...more
David Usharauli
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is quite entertaining piece of historical fiction that describes the final days of Pharaoh Ramses III reign. It was time of general decline of bronze age society and ancient Egypt was no exception.

The plot of the novel is a power struggle for succession between Pharaoh's sons involving reigning Queens and several noblemen. Novel follows investigation into mysterious death of aging priestess. Semerkent, the Clerk of Investigations and Secrets in ancient Egypt, is a main protagonist. He will
...more
Marie-Anne
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
Great read! Having lived (and worked as an archaeologist) in Louxor (ancient Thebes), the landscape is authentic, the story is very well written. In can't wait to read volume 2 in the series.
Maddy
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2005-reads
Thebes (Egypt) in 1153 B.C. is a growing metropolis that is governed in the east by Paser and in the west by Pawero. When a heinous crime is committed, the rival mayors both claim rights to the investigation of the brutal murder of an elderly priestess named Hetephras. The task goes to the "Clerk of Investigations and Secrets", a man called Semerket who doesn't appear to have what it would take to solve the case. Semerket has been disintegrating ever since his wife divorced him because he could ...more
Dyana
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
The sights, the smells, the sounds, the tastes - the lifestyle, the climate, the landscapes, and the people all are amply described in this ancient Egyptian murder mystery. This book is based on the mysterious death of Ramses III around 1153 B.C. Geagley has fleshed out this event in his fictional account of a troubled investigator and an aging Pharoah. Known for his ability never to be dishonest, Semerket a clerk of Investigations and Secrets, has been asked to investigate the brutal murder of ...more
Emma
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“A rusting from behind silenced her. Dark shapes began to emerge from the earth itself. Dark, animal shapes- beasts with ears and snouts she gasped”(Geagley). This was how the book Year of the Hyenas by Brad Geagley introduced me to the murder victim. This book was a tantalizing murder mystery set in none other that ancient Egypt. This was not just the tale of a woman's death rather, it was a tale of conspiracy and corruption in the ancient Egyptian government. The corruption lead all the way up ...more
Nora Ilacqua
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
The novel Year of the Hyenas by Brad Geagley takes place in ancient Egypt in 1153 B.C., after the time of King Tut's reign but before Cleopatra's rule. When I saw this book I was immediately interested because I have read and liked murder mysteries before and thought that Egypt's history was fun to learn about during school. I wanted to find out more about ancient Egypt so I thought this was a perfect choice as my fictional book.
This Egyptian novel explained the story of Semerket, a Clerk of In
...more
Jack Keely
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brad Geagley’s ingenious YEAR OF THE HYENAS presents the beauty and brutality of ancient Egypt in a multi-layered mystery with slight supernatural overtones. When the heartbroken Semerket is selected to investigate the murder of a priestess, he steps into tangled web of intrigue in which nearly everyone he meets has an ulterior motive and a personal agenda. Semerket’s investigation leads on a harrowing journey him from Metufer the Ripper Up in the nightmarish House of Purification to an audience ...more
N.N. Light
Imagine a murder mystery set in Ancient Egypt. Perfectly delicious, right? A detective named Semerket is called to investigate the death of a no-account elderly Theban princess. He starts to investigate and the authorities thwart his every move. The more he investigates the more secrets he discovers. It’s not about the princess at all, but about the Pharaoh Ramses III. Soon his life is in danger and he must choose between saving Egypt or himself. I loved Semerket and he reminded me of classic de ...more
Jack
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book - great story, great characters, twists and turns and new developments when you least expect them.
Take a detective in ancient Egypt - "Clerk of Investigations and Secrets' - make him a recovering alcoholic (from my perspective) throw in some big time personal problems and a personality that lacks tact and you have Semerket.
Who killed the elderly blind priestess? Send Semerket to investigte.
You have Pharaohs, tomb robbers, and political corruption.
Can't wait to read the next boo
...more
Astrid Lim
I love the setting of this series - Egypt in the past always mesmerized me. The Pharaoh, the harem, the pyramids and the treasures... Interesting subjects. The mystery itself is pretty predictable- especially the ending. But the main characters of the book (Samarket and his brother, Nenry), are pretty okay. I'm still interested reading the next books, if any of them are going to be translated too.
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Brad Geagley, film producer, screenwriter, and now author, has combined his passion for Ancient Egyptian history with his vast background in writing film, screenplays, and theater to write his first historical mystery novel Year of The Hyenas.
More about Brad Geagley...

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