I also liked the fact that these stories are about ancient Egypt and Babylon and Mesopotamia, a period not frequently covered by novelists.
This particular novel is a second novel in a series that follows Egyptian investigator named Semerket. Here, Semerket is sent by ailing Ramses IV to the Babylon with the secret mission to bring back the statue of Babylon's god Marduk. Pharaoh believes that by touching the statute of this alien god he will be cured.
Semerket has his own interest to go to Babylon. He is looking for his ex-wife he still loves dearly.
During his stay in Babylon, Semerket becomes involved in investigation the death of member of local Royal family and he himself comes close of dying, but eventually with the help of local tribes and new friends he will be able to solve the mystery, find his wife and safely brings god Marduk's statue back to Egypt (for 1 year "loan").
The novel is filled with interesting information related to ancient middle east. It appears that already by 1100 BC Babylon had a working indoor plumbing that delivered both cold and hot waters. Another interesting story was about women-only sect called gagu who were part astrologer part businesswomen. Another story I found fascinating is that at that time Babylonians apparently could worship 60,000 different gods.
posted by David Usharauli