The Poisoner of Ptah

Published By: Minotaur Books

Book Category: Fiction, Historical

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Reviewed by Michele E. Davis

Ptah, the Egyptian god, brought the world into reality. In Doherty’s book we are thrown headfirst into 1478 B. C., which is the ruling period of Pharaoh Hatusu. Not only was she a woman and queen but also a warrior, avenger and vindicator. Captives are lined up as sacrifices and the Pharaoh is ready to sign a peace treaty with Libya. Her main goal is to prove to Naratousha, a principal Libyan war chief, that the power of Egypt was invincible.

To seal the deal, the Libyans and three Egyptian scribes drank from the sacrificial wine, and a relieved Hatusu relaxed–and then her three scribes, Kharfur, Nebseni and Menkhep, died from poisoning.

This event precipitated a legion of deaths by poison and supposed drowning thought to be related to Rekhet, who was found guilty years earlier of poisoning others at the Pharaoh’s court. Amerotke, who is the Chief Judge from the Halls of Two Truths, is assigned to investigate the deaths. Confounding is the fact that the powders used to poison are untraceable and Amerotke finds that he is pitted against an intelligent, wily opponent and criminal, who may not be Rekhet after all.

The Chief Judge travels to Thebes and the of author Doherty, plus his historical knowledge and fantastic story telling, provide the reader with an irresistible insight into the period, breathing 21st Century life into an ancient period.
A dynamic page turner, and while ancient terms might seem difficult, Doherty’s skill as a writer prepares you for complicated names and different civilized times.

Armchair Interviews says: This is another excellent book by prolific British writer Paul Doherty.

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