Review: “The Deceit”

I’ve been on holiday this week, so I have been a little negligent in keeping my blog current, but please rest assured that I will catch up.  While on holiday, I’ve been reading The Deceit.  I decided to buy Tom Knox’s thriller, The Deceit, because I wanted to see how another author writes a thriller, and because it is sited, at least in part, in Egypt, which is the main setting of my sixth novel.

The Deceit is a complex tale of the occult.  It begins with a prominent, old Egyptologist who is searching for the Sokar Hoard, a collection of ancient documents, which, rumour has it, will alter our concepts of religion.  Meanwhile, in Cornwall, England, there is someone practicing very sinister witchcraft, which involves the burning of dozens of live cats.  A detective inspector gets involved when a body is found – in mysterious circumstances – at the bottom of an abandoned tin mine.  The young protégée of the famous Egyptologist sets out to find the Sokar Hoard, on the basis of rumours that his mentor actually found the Hoard, but is now dead.  The young protégée is joined by a freelance movie maker and they discover part of the Hoard, but are – at first – unable to translate it.  Back in Cornwall, the detective inspector begins to home in on the practitioner of the deadly black magic.  The protégée, the movie maker and the detective inspector are threatened by various sinister forces, but they decipher the key message of the Hoard, and understand the nature of the black magic, respectively.  They also learn the connections between the message of the Hoard and the black magic.   If it were true, it would surely make your hair stand on end!

There are many twists and turns in this story.  Some of the twists seem more like diversionary devices, than essential elements  The characters seem two-dimensional; their purpose is mainly to facilitate the story.  The language is story-telling language; it does not aspire to literature.

What contributes substantially to its believability is the author’s compelling knowledge of ancient Egypt.  The places, the ancient culture and beliefs are all very real, and form the platform from which the occult tale can be launched.  Unfortunately for me, it’s a leap too far.  Too much of my religious understanding and my knowledge of science is called into question, but for those who do not suffer from credibility blockages, this novel may be just your cup of tea.

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