Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: Egypt, four years after the death of Tutankhamen.
First sentence: I stared down at five severed heads that lay in the dust, at the godforsaken crossroads, in the small dark hour before dawn.
This novel is the third in Drake's Rahotep series.
Due to his loyalty to the Queen of Egypt, Rahotep has lost his status as a Medjay detective. Now there are new ritualistic murders in Thebes. And he is not allowed to investigate.
There is a new powerful gang in town. They have taken over the opium trade. And, they are murdering anyone who is in their way. Which includes Rahotep's friend and partner Khety.
Rahotep wants revenge.
But the Queen needs Rahotep's help. She is the daughter of Nefertiti and wife to King Ay. The king is soon to die. There is no male relative to take his place. Only the feared General Horemheb.
So the queen proposes a marriage to one of the sons of the king of the Hittites. Even though the Hittites are the enemies of Egypt. The queen believes that this marriage would end the war between the Hittites and Egypt.
The queen wants Rahotep to accompany the Royal Envoy to present the proposal. Along the way, Rahotep keeps his eyes open, and discovers clues which eventually lead him to the secretive leader of the opium gang.
Will Rahotep discover who the leader is, and get the revenge he desires?
I liked this novel. The author set the plot in a realistic depiction of Egypt in those long ago days. There is action. There is danger. And along the way, we learn about the Egyptian culture.
For me, it was an enjoyable read.