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The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips
The Egyptologist of this novel's title is Ralph Trilipush, searching for the tomb of Atum-Hadu, last king of Egypt's XIIIth Dynasty. Trilipush's claim to the existence of Atum-Handu is a papyrus which he's translated into a book of erotic poetry. No other egyptologist puts much credence in Trilipush's ideas. At the same time, Australian private detective Harold Ferrell is investigating the disappearance of a man who came to Egypt at the close of World War I. As his investigation stumbles across Trilipush's path, he begins to doubt Trilipush's credentials, although perhaps its his own that are suspect. In Arthur Phillips' darkly comic novel, it's hard to trust everything and everyone to be what or whom they at first appear to be. The Egyptologist has received mostly positive reviews with the The Detroit Free Press saying, "Phillips' rollicking plot winds down to a finish both poignant and eye-popping -- not a combination one finds every day! His entertaining characters are believably two- or three-faced, and his phrasing is gorgeous."