Saturday, 4 May 2019

Secrets of the Dead - Murray Bailey

In the tradition of Dan Brown and Indiana Jones Secrets of the Dead establishes Murray Bailey firmly as a competent writer of adventure fiction, for me anyway. What I want to know is why the hell this guy isn’t up there heading the best seller lists? 

Stories like these are my ‘fast food’ reads if you will. I sit down and I read and I enjoy. I am transported  out of my cerebral self for several hundred pages and I let myself be carried along the crest of an adventure where many swashes are buckled!! 

Spanning two continents Secrets of the Dead links an FBI agent, sorry, Special Agent Charlie Rebb, an indomitable female sleuth and Alex MacClure an archaeologist with a penchant for interpreting ancient symbols and an Egyptology expert. They’re linked because of a unprecedented number of murders by a serial killer dubbed The Surgeon. And more than that I refuse to tell under pain of torture. Read the book!

It’s pacy, it’s action packed, it’s complex and intricate and it’s exciting. There’s a dual narrative with the present day action unfolding alongside a tale from Ancient Egypt. What is so impressive is the author’s expansive knowledge and obvious love for Egypt and its history. So much research has gone into this book which makes it so convincing and readable. Mind you, you need to be on your toes! There’s much discussion regarding some parallels between Christianity and Egyptology which is fascinating but complex. There is so much information given here that it will spiral around your brain as you try to make sense of it all. 

The descriptions are palpable and atmospheric. There were a couple of sequences that reminded me of the film Midnight Express. The characters are interesting and fulfilled their roles without being stereotypical. The final denouement is satisfying without leaving any loose threads and almost hints of a further book? 

My understanding is that this is the second story to feature Alex MacClure but in no way was my enjoyment of this  inhibited by not having read the first although I think I’ll have to now!!

My thanks to Librarything for the opportunity to read this book and to Mr. Bailey for kindly signing the book for me. 

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