Something is hiding beneath the sand, a darkness, a ancient hunger for revenge. Meilori is looking for an object of power that she left hidden in the sand centuries ago.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the world is changing.
A boy stands beside his dying father's bed, where he's been since the Texas Ranger brought him in. He trusts the lawman to tell him the truth. A bond is formed. The boy is Samuel Clemens, and the Ranger is Sam McCord. Fast-forward to Egypt, in the early 20th century, a country at a crossroads under the governance of a faux local government managed by foreign powers.
An archaeological dig is in progress in Tanis* and the city is thick with humanity when the story opens. In every scene, you feel the heat, the dry air, the crush of the crowds. A sense of danger lurks behind every pillar. Tanis is a city believed to hide unknown quantities of treasure.
Into this den of intrigue comes a strange mix of fellows: Sam McCord, Meilori, Ada Byron, an adult Samuel Clemens, Nikolas Tesla, and Oscar Wilde. The dialogue is subtle and sometimes blatant as Wilde and Clemens banter, sizzling looks pass between McCord and Meilori, and we learn much in a brief girl-to-girl heart rending by Ada, as she explains why she clings to Sam McCord, even though he's not really to her taste. . .In the midst of the attempt to arrest McCord, a young Churchill shows the first glimmer of his strong convictions and quick mind. The British command thinks McCord and his crew may have had something to do with Wilde being free.
Much of Egypt's history is revealed throughout the story as the characters fight and sidestep danger to accomplish their mission: finding Meilori's buried House of Life. Roland has also included photos of that time in history, an excellent addition that sets the stage. I enjoyed this story so much I'd give it top rating, 5 stars. I would like to see a followup to this story. The pacing and the action were well balanced, with pauses to give us time to breathe. Recommended.
*Tanis, a city in ancient Egypt.
In case you didn't see it:
Previous Interview with the main cast of characters in Death in the House of Life. DG interviews the travelers on location in the past. And tries to stay on the good side of Meilori. . .
Have you read Death in the House of Life? Do you like stories about Egyptian mysteries? Or do you like reading about historical events merged with fiction? Would you descend into a deep, dank tomb closed for centuries?
Please let me know in the comments that you were here. Thanks for stopping by! I'm always listening.
To get your copy of Death in the House of Life, see Roland's blog, Writing in the Crosshairs; his books will take you on adventures you won't forget.