I enjoyed The Murder of King Tut from cover to cover. I didn’t really know what to expect when I started this one. A book of facts laid out for a lawyer? A chronicle of the life and times of a boy Pharaoh as we know them? A historical fiction novel based on what little is known of Tut? It ended up not being any of these things. The story is an interwoven three pronged attack at the Tut mystery. The first part deals with a tale of the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, starting with Tut’s grandfather, shortly before he died, and moving along through several Pharaohs resting the longest, of course, on Tut. The next thread woven through the story is Howard Carter’s life and his search and eventual discovery of King Tut’s tomb. The last and by far the smallest thread of the book is James Patterson’s little story on how he started writing this book with a couple of glimpses at his quest to figure out who, if anyone, murdered the boy King.
The story of Tutankhamun is the driving force of this book and in my opinion it is complete fiction and fully from the imagination of James Patterson, though he used as many known facts about the time and people as were available to give it life. The story was very well put together and I enjoyed looking into the possible Egyptian past.
The story of Howard Carter was much closer to a biography and I also enjoyed it quite a bit for very different reasons. Mostly, it was filling in a lot of holes in my knowledge about Egyptian archeology during the first quarter of the 20th century. It was also great to learn more about the actual discovery of Tut’s tomb.
The parts with James Patterson giving highlights of his participation in the book are very few, which in my opinion is good. The couple actual chapters dealing with this do not really add much to the work other than giving the whole piece a nice sense of balance. At the beginning, Patterson claims that he will prove murder and at the end he claims he knows who did it. He gives a big reveal but neither the text nor any given facts really support his conclusions.
Overall, I found this to be a great book worth a read, especially if you have any interest in Egyptology or the Pharaohs in general. Patterson’s conclusions don’t detract from the book at all.
Caleb is a software engineer and amature woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.