I enjoyed the historical details in the story I love when a book teaches me something while telling me a story. Nefertiti is a novel that begins like your typical historical detective story but about halfway through turns into something else entirely The first half of the story sees Rahotep investigating the queen s disappearance and uncovering conspiracies and a growing number of corpses along the way All far so good, and there s a frisson of tension to help the proceedings along Drake has clearly done his research and the evocation of late era Egypt is a good one, as the reader can almost feel the sand in his throat and the burning temperatures on his skin However, around the halfway mark this book seems to lose focus and becomes caught up in the political machinations of the royal court I have to say this half of the story lost me somewhat despite a handful of strong scenes, it feels like a novel in search of a plot or a simple exploration of the Egyptian political scene of the period, bringing in religion etc along the way If Drake had wanted to write about the life of Nefertiti and her struggles for power, he should have done so perhaps making her the central character If he d wanted to write a historical detective yarn, he should have kept up with the detection all the way through Instead the detective stuff feels like a half baked way to get him and his leading character where he wants to be, in order to comment on courtroom intrigue and the various shady figures running Egypt s economy It s an okay read, but I wish the author would make his mind up as to what he wanted this book to be about. She Is Nefertiti Beautiful And Revered With Her Husband, Akhenaten, She Rules Over Egypt, The Most Affluent, Formidable, Sophisticated Empire In The Ancient World But An Epic Power Struggle Is Afoot, Brought On By The Royal Couple S Inauguration Of An Enlightened New Religion And The Construction Of A Magnificent New Capital The Priests Are Stunned By The Abrupt Forfeiture Of Their Traditional Wealth And Influence The People Resent The Loss Of Their Gods And The Army Is Enraged By The Growing Turbulence Around Them Then, Just Days Before The Festival That Will Celebrate The New Capital, Nefertiti VanishesRahotep, The Youngest Chief Detective In The Thebes Division, Has Earned A Reputation For His Unorthodox Yet Effective Methods Entrusted By Great Akhenaten Himself With A Most Secret Investigation, Rahotep Has But Ten Days To Find The Missing Queen If He Succeeds, He Will Bask In The Warmth Of Akhenaten S Favor But If Rahotep Fails, He And His Entire Family Will Die I enjoyed this I would of liked to of read about the relationship between Nefertiti , Ay and Akhenaten , but otherwise a good Egyptian mystery novel I am going to order the second one in this series I could not get into this, I think because I felt no real connection with the characters and despite the lengthy descriptions at times, I did not feel the ancient Egyptian setting was really evoked For example, you d think a novel set in ancient Egypt would use the title Pharaoh quite frequently but it is only used once in the entire book King is the usual title used instead.I also felt the writing style was trying hard to be heavily philosophical and it got to be too much I wound up just skimming over those parts I m all for some good philosophical quotes now and again but give it a rest already The plot in the first half moves very slowly, if at all The second half was better than the first though, enough to carry me through to the end but not enough to make me really like the book overall. Um wavering between the standard shelf and Never Finished because I could not manage to read this in its entirety The reason it s far too gruesome for me But, having skimmed this, I can say the following 1.Mr Drake writes well very well indeed, on a sentence by sentence level That s why he started off with 4 or 5 stars.That said 2 I actually could not read some of this because of the graphic violence Some readers don t mind that sort of thing, but it really turns me off And 3 Though I thought the palace intrigue was well handled, it frustrated me that there was no justice for the most gruesome crime, the murder of a young police officer Also 4 I could not believe for one minute that, as far as the main murder was concerned, the murderer would not have known exactly who the victim was I hope that s a readable sentence trying to be spoiler free here In short, I tend to agree with Dorothy Sayers and Jill Paton Walsh that a mystery novel is a dream of justice , justice the readers may not always find in the real world We want right and order to be restored we want a catharsis Though in many ways an admirable story, Nefertiti does not offer this, at least to me I m not sure I ll be reading any of the others in this series I prefer the stories by Lynda Robinson My two cents The writing was good, the plot shaky Rahotep, a chief detective from Thebes is sent to Akhetanen s new capital to solve the great mystery We discover the mystery is the disappearance of Nefertiti Several murder attempts are made on Rahotep s life even before he gets to the capital and I still couldn t figure out at the end of the book why he was selected, by Nefertiti it turns out, to find her Way too many holes in this story for it to be engaging for this reader. In the 12th year of Akhenaten s reign Nefertiti disappeared There are no records of her and no explanation Nick Drake s goal was to build a story around this mystery, but his resolution doesn t match what we know of history He also makes us dig his story out of piles of description This poet lost the balance between words and events.I paused in NEFERTITI to read a couple of enjoyable books I won t be continuing with the series. Really, my rating depends on what you are expecting from this book If you are reading it as a historical novel, I think it merits a 4 I really liked the writing, and the descriptions of the setting, and I m totally biased in favor of this topic because I enjoyed the Amarna exhibit at the UPenn Museum Amarna is another name for Aketaten But as a mystery, it s really closer to a 2 or a 3 Mysteries often struggle to find a balance between being too easy to figure out, because that s not exciting, and too hard to figure out, because that s just random and bizarre The best kind are where you have enough clues to form your suspicions, but you can t confirm them until the big reveal, after which, looking back at all the clues, your preferred solution is clearly the most probable This mystery definitely seems to choose a random ending it s not implausible, but it s not any plausible than 3 or 4 other alternatives, and there s not really anything that would lead you to the proper conclusion I ll read the second one, because I m a nerd, but if you re interested in the mystery than the history, you may want to look somewhere else. I love historical mysteries I think this was my first time walking with an investigator in ancient Egypt It took me a bit to get into the character and storyline, but once I did, the story flowed quite wonderfully More than a mystery, it showed power hungry people and the ones who got stepped on in the process Nefertiti, beloved Queen, has disappeared Akhenaten wants her found and threatens death to Rahotep, the detective placed in charge of the investigation Nicely paced with plenty of twists and turns Glad I have another in the series on Mt Git r Read.
Nick Drake was born in 1961 He lives and works in London His first book length collection, The Man in the White Suit Bloodaxe Books, 1999 , was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 1999, and was selected for the Next Generation Poets promotion in 2004 From The Word Go was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2007 His most recent projects include a
- 352 pages
- Nefertiti: the book of the dead
- Nick Drake
- 01 July 2019 Nick Drake