Sunday, 31 August 2014
BookBub or a similar site were advertising the title as an Amazon ’special offer' ebook; as I’ve seen the author in the Guardian bestseller lists I thought I’d give him a go. Bestseller lists are by no means indicators of quality writing; I really must remember that for the future.
So there you are in a story about the intended rape and plunder of a pharaoh’s hitherto unknown tomb with the regulation sets of baddies and goodies. The goodies do all the work and the baddies reap the benefits. Once, twice, three times. The goodies (who aren’t really much better than the baddies because they also plan to smash and grab for themselves rather than a worthy cause) don’t seem to learn that the baddies are only a step behind them at every turn and merrily and enthusiastically dislodge a whole river and mountain to get at the treasure, trusting all and sundry on the way with their secret (secret? shifting a river and half a mountain?) undertaking. Scores of people are mown down irrespective of creed, colour, holiness, except, of course, our heroes and heroines (yes, two very beautiful women also figure prominently).
Naturally, the baddies die horribly, each separately and slowly and our heroes emerge victorious. Even more nauseating, the author inserts his name into the story as the famous chronicler of such derring-do throughout the book, just in case we forget who is serving up this delightful dish of tripe.
Why did I persevere?
a) because I am stupid and
b) I wanted to see the ending.
Although I skipped a lot of the book during the last third I was hoping he would surprise me and do what he did to the river: diverge into an untried channel. He didn’t, he stayed true to formula right to the bitter end.