Arthur Phillips – The Egyptologist

Arthur Phillips – The Egyptologist

“Tonight, I toil in the clamour of a little cabaret where the chicha smoke forms jinn who embrance their puff-cheeked masters with massaging fingers.  I watch the smoker by the door: a nest slowly coils around his head, the faint echo of an ancestor’s mummy wraps, but each time the door opens to his right, all at once the smoke rushes out, away, up into the star-flecked, plum-coloured sky.  The door closes and he begins again, shrouding himself top to bottom with smoke; the door opens and invisible plunderers again unravel his work.”

That’s a hell of a descriptive paragraph.  Sadly, that level of authorship only bursts forth erratically, as the book is a bit amateurish.  Engrossing, yes, but I was disappointed as each of the characters revealed themselves to be nasty and brutish as the story progressed.  A good mystery works no matter when the reader figures it out–this one wasn’t very fun for the most part after I solidified my guess about 2/3 of the way through.  Still, it wasn’t bad, just not great.

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