Go to Homepage   Lauren Haney: A Curse of Silence

  Crescent Blues Book Views

Three moon gifAvon Books (Paperback), ISBN 0380812851
Bedeviled by the mysteries of ancient Egypt, for centuries culture after culture dug up, looted, discovered, lost, rediscovered, flooded, romanticized and damned the ancient Egyptian ruins. But no one ever brought ancient Egypt to life until a talented group of 20th and 21st century writers put pen to paper and fingers to keyboards.

Book: Lauren Haney, A Curse of SilenceLauren Haney, creator of the Lieutenant Bak series, belongs near the top of this select group. Haney makes her readers walk in the wily investigator's sandals. You feel the dust between your toes and grinding into the soles of your feet. Your throat parches in the midday sun until you crack the dried mud plug of a tepid beer jar and let the sour beer quench your thirst.

In A Curse of Silence, Queen Hatshepsut's cousin Amonked arrives in the city of Buhen to assess the wisdom of recalling the army from the frontier. (Military cutbacks are nothing new.) Amonked's concubine and his servants accompany the queen's cousin, along with a company of inexperienced solders assigned to guard Amonked's valuable household goods. Captain Minkheper (a naval officer interested in the improving off-season shipping) and Lieutenant Horhotep round out the party.

Book: Lauren Haney, A Vile JusticeAmonked boasts about his mission while hiring the donkeys and drovers needed for the arduous trek through the desert, unnerving and antagonizing the locals. The workers, shopkeepers, retired soldiers and other denizens of the Egyptian frontier need Hatshepsut's army to protect their property and their lives. They also fear the return of the Falcon, a New Dynasty Butch Cassidy who threatens the pack trains that travel from frontier fortress to fortress bringing goods to the Egyptian capitol.

But before Amonked and his unwieldy pack train can leave Buhen, the body of a local prince is found stuffed in the closet of Amonked's borrowed lodgings. Despite Amonked's denials, Lieutenant Bak suspects an inside job. Bak wangles his way into the pack train to investigate and lands in the middle of more adventure than any sane man could want. The people of the province demand justice for their murdered prince. Desert marauders shadow the caravan's every move. Untrained soldiers provide its only defense, and somewhere in the throng lurks a murderer who could strike again at any time.

A Curse of Silence supplies both a first class ticket to another place and time, and a rousing good read from page one all the way to "The End."

Suzanne Frisbee

Click here to share your views.