Author: James Patterson and Martin Dugard
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 978-0-316-03404-3

Click Here To Purchase The Murder of King Tut: The Plot to Kill the Child King - A Nonfiction Thriller

Egyptian king Tutankhamen—King Tut, the Boy King—died at the age of eighteen. According to James Patterson in his latest thriller—a non-fiction thriller in this case—Tut was murdered. Using the evidence that already exists mixed with a smidgen of historical speculation, Patterson presents an acceptable murder story.

Patterson deftly keeps three plotlines running in this book. Skimming the surface is his own story regarding how he came to write about King Tut.

The second plotline—equally as interesting as Tut’s tale—is Egyptologist Howard Carter’s story. Percy Newberry has written that Carter lacked social graces: “He doesn’t hesitate to pick his last hollow tooth with a match stalk during dinner.” Patterson sketches Carter as a “pissed of Indiana Jones.” Patterson recounts Carter’s lifetime search for, and ultimately, his discovery of Tut’s tomb.

The main storyline, of course, examines the life and death of Pharaoh Tutankhamen, who at the age of eighteen falls victim to his vizier’s ambition for power and the greed of palace intrigue.

Some readers might find the constantly shifting back and forth of settings annoying: Patterson is in present day Palm Beach; Carter’s time basically spans the first half of the twentieth century; Tut’s era is ancient Egypt. Others will feels this same structural method helps maintain the swift pace characteristic of fiction thrillers.

After Pharaoh Akhenaten death, Tut’s stepmother, Queen Nefertiti, ensures that the boy she loves like a true son ascends to the throne. Since Tut’s birth mother was a commoner, Tut must marry into the royal family. Nefertiti arranges for Tut, at the age of eleven or twelve, to wed his slightly older half-sister Ankhesenpaaten and thus become Pharaoh.

As a man who in a previous life was a high school English teacher, I couldn’t help being amused by one particular scene in this book. As a matter of fact I said to myself, “Oh, come on, James!”

Tut is late for a lesson with his pedagogical tutor and must be punished: “The standard punishment for tardiness was to repeatedly write hieroglyphic characters on a piece of papyrus.”

I like to fancy Patterson grinning as he wrote this scene: Tut, like reluctant scholars since time immemorial—apparently—is forced to “write out lines.”

Drawing on exhaustive research on the part of co-author Martin Dugard and others, as well as his own, Patterson has written a convincing “non-fiction thriller.”

Click Here To Purchase The Murder of King Tut: The Plot to Kill the Child King - A Nonfiction Thriller