Contents Chap­ter Thir­ty-​Eight The southern shore of Lake Mariut, ad 415

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‘So seventy rods would make three hundred and fifty...


Ahead, the pas­sage opened up in­to a cham­ber, the gold­en thread com­ing to an end at the base of the wall op­po­site. ‘So how far do you reck­on we’ve come?’ she asked.

‘About three hun­dred and forty-​nine, I’d guess.’


Khaled joined Faisal at the foot of the shaft, peered through in­to the new cham­ber and pas­sage­way. A man’s body was float­ing face down in the wa­ter. He lift­ed his head by a hank of blood­ed hair to check. Stafford, the TV pre­sen­ter. One down, three to go. He dropped him again, held his flash­light and the AK-47 at the ready as he wad­ed through the cham­ber then along the pas­sage. ‘Well?’ he snapped at Faisal, who was hold­ing back. ‘Are you com­ing or not?’

‘Let’s just get out of here,’ plead­ed Faisal. ‘We’ve still got time.’

‘And then what?’

‘What do you think? We van­ish.’

Khaled hes­itat­ed. A new life some­where no one knew him. Port Said. Aswan. ne kne SAs­wOr over the bor­der in­to Su­dan or Libya. It was easy enough buy­ing a new iden­ti­ty if you had con­tacts and bak­sheesh. But a new iden­ti­ty was on­ly the start. And the prospect of start­ing over in a new land with noth­ing to his name made his heart sink to his boots.

Leave now and he’d be poor for­ev­er. He was­n’t de­signed for pover­ty. He was de­signed for good things. And they were so close. At the very least, he had to see what lay at the end of this pas­sage. ‘We’re fin­ish­ing this,’ he said. ‘Trust me. No one will ev­er find out.’ He smiled en­cour­ag­ing­ly, then turned his back on Faisal and walked on, know­ing that the man was weak, that he’d buck­le and fol­low.

And, sure enough, he did.


Knox laid Gaille down, brushed hair from her brow and cheek. The cut in her scalp was clot­ting, her com­plex­ion was per­cep­ti­bly health­ier, her breath­ing stronger. He stood up, took the torch from Lily, shone it around the new cham­ber, took it to the left-​hand wall. It was coat­ed with gyp­sum, and there were mark­ings vis­ible be­neath the thick coats of dust. He took off his wet shirt, wiped it down, bring­ing a night-​time scene to vivid life: peo­ple hud­dled in their beds as rob­bers roamed their hous­es, while out­side li­ons prowled, snakes slith­ered, crocodiles lurked.

He went to the wall op­po­site, cleaned that too. A day­time scene. Akhen­at­en and Ne­fer­ti­ti hand­ing out gold neck­laces from a palace bal­cony while farm­ers went about their work, cat­tle grazed in the fields, ducks flew over the reeds and fish leapt in the lakes, all sport­ing in the beams of sun­light.

‘It’s The Hymn of the At­en,’ he mur­mured. ‘Akhen­aten’s po­em to his sun god.’ He il­lu­mi­nat­ed the left-​hand wall. ‘That’s the world by night,’ he said. ‘Li­ons com­ing forth from their dens, snakes prepar­ing to strike.’ He point­ed right. ‘And this is day. “Cat­tle and sheep wel­come in the dawn, birds take wing as you ap­pear. Boats sail up­on the wa­ters, all paths open through you.â€�’

‘What good is that?’ said Lily, her voice crack­ing a lit­tle. ‘We need to get out of here.’

The sun­beams con­verged to­wards the up­per left-​hand cor­ner of the wall, Knox no­ticed. Yet they did­n’t meet. They hit the junc­tion with the neigh­bour­ing wall be­fore reach­ing their fo­cal point, then prompt­ly van­ished. He turned the torch up­on this wall, no­ticed some­thing that had elud­ed him be­fore. It was­n’t a sin­gle flat sur­face, as he’d first thought. There was a re­cessed V-​shaped sec­tion in its cen­tre, set per­haps half an inch be­hind the rest, and it was ac­tu­al­ly at the base of this V that the gold­en thread stopped.

He placed his hand up­on it, cold­er, smoother and al­to­geth­er more metal­lic than he’d ex­pect­ed. He stepped back, il­lu­mi­nat­ing the whole wall and the gold­en thread in the floor, and it re­mind­ed him of some­thing. ‘It’s like a wa­di,’ he said, point­ing out the val­ley-​shaped V to her. ‘You know, the one the sun ris­es over to make the sign of the At­en.’

‘Then where’s the sun?’

‘Ex­act­ly,’ nod­ded Knox. He went back to the wall, rapped his knuck­les against it, lis­tened care­ful­ly to the echo. He rapped again. Yes. No ques­tion about it. It was hol­low.


Naguib, Tarek and the ghaf­firs ad­vanced­nd the V cau­tious­ly across the hill­top, tak­ing turns to scur­ry from cov­er to cov­er, keep­ing low to avoid show­ing their sil­hou­ettes.

‘Stay back!’ cried a pan­icky voice from the dark­ness. ‘Don’t come any clos­er!’

Gun­fire rat­tled to Naguib’s left, muz­zle fire leav­ing or­ange blurs danc­ing on his reti­nas. ‘Stop!’ he cried. He turned to Tarek. ‘He has in­for­ma­tion. We need him alive.’

Tarek shout­ed out the or­der. Si­lence fell.

‘Lis­ten,’ called out Naguib. ‘I am In­spec­tor Naguib Hus­sein. You saw me ear­li­er. We know what’s go­ing on. We know ev­ery­thing. You’re sur­round­ed. Lay down your weapon. Put your hands over your head and then stand up.’

‘Go away. Leave me alone.’

There was laugh­ter at this, the idea was so ridicu­lous. ‘You don’t have to die,’ called out Naguib. ‘You can sur­ren­der. A tri­al. A lawyer. I’ll tell the court you helped us in the end. Who knows how it will turn out? But oth­er­wise… you don’t stand a chance.’

‘He’ll kill me.’

‘Who’ll kill you?’

‘Cap­tain Khaled, of course. He’s mad. He made us do it. We did­n’t want to. It was all his idea.’

‘Then help us stop him. The courts will have mer­cy on you. But right now put down your gun and sur­ren­der. You hear?’

‘You won’t shoot?’

‘You have my word.’

Some­thing clat­tered on the rocks. The fig­ure of a man rose in the dark­ness ahead, arms above his head. With­in a mo­ment, he was swarmed and pinned to the ground, Naguib kneel­ing be­side him, ask­ing about the oth­ers, where to find them.


Knox put his shoul­der to the wall, tried to slide it to one side, lift it, press it down. Noth­ing worked. Down the pas­sage, splash­ing nois­es were re­placed by the scuff and pat­ter of foot­steps. By Knox’s best es­ti­ma­tion, they had a minute at the most. And there was nowhere to hide, no way to spring an am­bush. It was get­ting through this wall or noth­ing.

‘Look!’ said Lily. She steered the torch in his hand at the base of the wall. It was dif­fi­cult to make out, dark against a black back­ground, but there was an ankh-​shaped hole there, the ap­prox­imate size of a man’s hand. He went a lit­tle numb. The ankh was the great Egyp­tian sym­bol of life. It had evolved from a hi­ero­glyph for mag­ical pro­tec­tion, though there was still fu­ri­ous de­bate over what that glyph had orig­inal­ly sym­bol­ized. A cer­emo­ni­al knot, said some. Or per­haps a san­dal. Oth­ers claimed that it had rep­re­sent­ed the sun ris­ing over the hori­zon, or even the fu­sion of male and fe­male gen­italia, a kind of hermaphroditism all of its own. But look­ing at it right now, Knox could­n’t help notic­ing how much it looked like a key­hole.

‘Hur­ry,’ said Lily. ‘They’re get­ting clos­er.’

Ancient Egyptians had invented mechanical locks at least...

Mem­ories of a desert drive with his late friend Rick, vet­er­an of the Aus­tralian spe­cial forces. Killing time dis­cussing meth­ods of pick­ing locks, the tools you need­ed. He opened up his scis­sors, twist­ed and turned the two blades un­til he’d wrenched them apart. Far too large and clum­sy for a mod­ern lock, but not for this. He pressed one blade against the cylin­der, gen­tly jig­gled the tum­blers with the oth­er, lis­ten­ing in­tent­ly as they clicked in­to place.

‘Quick­ly,’ begged Lily. ‘They’re get­ting clos­er.’

‘Please,’ he said. ‘I need si­lence.’

The fi­nal tum­bler slot­ted in­to place. He tried to twist the cylin­der clock­wise. It would­n’t shift. He went counter-​clock­wise in­stead. It gave re­luc­tant­ly, protest­ing at be­ing dis­turbed af­ter so long. Thir­ty de­grees, six­ty, nine­ty. And then it stopped al­to­geth­er, no mat­ter how hard he strained.

‘Come on!’ wailed Lily.

He lay on his back, slammed the wall with both bare soles. Noth­ing. He kicked again, a third time, a fourth. Some­thing clicked in­side. A re­leas­ing latch per­haps. The floor be­gan to trem­ble, shak­ing dust in­to the air. The tor­tured groan of met­al on rock as coun­ter­weights went to work. The wall be­gan ris­ing with painful slow­ness, like the cur­tain of a the­atre. Its metal­lic sur­face be­gan to glow in the torch­light, a yel­low­ish tint to it, brighter and brighter, too gold­en to be sil­ver, too sil­ver to be gold. Elec­trum, then, a nat­ural­ly oc­cur­ring al­loy of the two, so high­ly prized by the Egyp­tians for its sun­shine daz­zle that they’d coat­ed the cap­stones of pyra­mids with it. And then the disk of the At­en it­self ap­peared, climb­ing slow­ly up the wall. The sun was ris­ing over Amar­na.


Knox shone the torch be­neath the still-​ris­ing elec­trum cur­tain, il­lu­mi­nat­ing the arte­facts spilled across the floor be­hind, dulled by thick coats of sand and dust, yet still glow­ing bright­ly enough to give an idea of their ma­te­ri­al. Ivory, faïence, al­abaster, leop­ard skin, shells, semi­precious stones. And gold. Ev­ery­where, the lus­tre of gold.

The cur­tain was now high enough for Lily to squeeze be­neath. ‘Come on, then,’ she said, reach­ing back for the torch. Knox grabbed Gaille’s arms, dragged her af­ter him be­neath the cur­tain in­to the crowd­ed cham­ber, a nar­row aisle wend­ing be­tween high stacks of arte­facts. He picked her up, his mind swim­ming, try­ing to take ev­ery­thing in. Bronze can­dle­sticks, an ebony staff, a mod­el sail­boat, a cop­per snake, a wood­en head­rest, an ankh of green jade. Two life-​sized black-​and-​gold sen­tries on eter­nal guard, lapis lazuli eyes star­ing bel­liger­ent­ly in chal­lenge. Lily hur­ried by, tak­ing the fad­ing torch­light with her. The arte­facts grew more re­gal. An em­bossed gold char­iot rest­ed up­on its yoke-​pole next to a dou­ble throne. A gold­en stat­ue in a niche. An or­nate couch with a sin­gle wood­en oar fall­en against it. Bowls of ru­bies and emer­alds. He bumped against Lily; she stepped to one side and point­ed the torch so that he could see for him­self what had made her stop. A flight of elec­trum-​cov­ered steps on which stood two mas­sive gold sar­copha­gi. He looked at them in qui­et awe, aware the world would nev­er be quite the same again. Akhen­at­en and Ne­fer­ti­ti. Adam and Eve.

But there was no time to dwell up­on the dis­cov­ery. Torch­light be­hind; a burst of au­to­mat­ic gun­fire. Knox dived in search of cov­er, try­ing to heave Gaille over a gold couch, but he slipped and Gaille fell from his arms. He reached back from ^ for her just as Khaled ar­rived, torch clamped be­neath his armpit, fir­ing from his hip, forc­ing Knox to re­treat in­to the dark­ness, aban­don­ing Gaille to his mer­cy.

Khaled ap­proached slow­ly, the Al­addin’s cave of trea­sures bloom­ing and fad­ing as he turned this way and that, Knox search­ing des­per­ate­ly among the or­na­ments, gem­stones and fur­ni­ture for some­thing he could wield. It went dark again as Khaled turned away. Eigh­teenth Dy­nasty grave-​goods were rit­ual in na­ture, Knox knew, de­signed to equip the pharaoh for the tri­als of the af­ter­life. Howard Carter and Lord Carnar­von had found a com­pos­ite bow in Tu­tankhamun’s tomb. They’d found a dag­ger of hard­ened gold. What he’d give for that!

He reached out blind­ly, try­ing not to make any noise. His hand light­ed on a stat­uette of some kind. He took hold of it, but it was made of worm-​eat­en wood, too light for his pur­pose. He set it back down, con­tin­ued his ex­plo­ration. His fin­ger­tips brushed some­thing cold­er and heav­ier. His spir­its soared as he re­al­ized what it was: a mace, the kind that pharaohs had used to smite their en­emies. His lips tight­ened al­most in­to a smile. That was more like it.


Once Nass­er had start­ed to talk, he would­n’t stop. He want­ed to tell Naguib ev­ery­thing, blam­ing it all on Khaled.

‘The path?’ cried Naguib. ‘Where’s this damned path?’

Nass­er point­ed it out to him. Naguib hur­ried off, shin­ing his torch over the edge; his heart leapt in­to his throat at the fall that await­ed any mis­step. But he held his nerve and his foot­ing too, made it at last along the pre­car­ious slick lime­stone to the ledge and the mouth and in­side, then ran head­long down the pas­sage to the rim of the shaft. Au­to­mat­ic gun­fire echoed from be­low, sound­ing a great dis­tance away.

A rope was slung around a met­al peg in the floor. He grabbed it, low­ered him­self over the edge. An­oth­er burst of gun­fire. At least it was­n’t over yet; he still had time. A hole in the wall, chest-​deep wa­ter, wad­ing through it as fast as he could, his gun held out ahead, yelling ex­hor­ta­tion to keep him­self go­ing even though he half ex­pect­ed at ev­ery mo­ment to en­counter a blaze of gun­fire from ahead; sick with fear, won­der­ing how Yas­mine and Hus­niyah would take the news if any­thing should hap­pen, yet not let­ting it slow him ei­ther, for he’d giv­en Knox his word, and this was his na­ture, and he’d rather have his loved ones grieve for him than be ashamed.


Khaled ad­vanced slow­ly in­to the trea­sure cham­ber, arte­facts glow­ing as his torch ran over them, be­fore dy­ing back down to a red­dish smoul­der. He could­n’t be­lieve his eyes. More gold than he’d ev­er dreamed of; and he’d dreamed a lot. He’d be the wealth­iest man in Egypt with all this, the wealth­iest in all the world. Hous­es, yachts, planes, wom­en, pow­er: ev­ery­thing he’d ev­er cov­et­ed, that he’d al­ways be­lieved his due. But how to make it his? How to get out of here and make it his?

‘Guard my back,’ he or­dered Faisal. ‘No one comes through. Un­der­stand?’

‘But we can stil­l—’

He thrust his face in­to Faisal’s, jammed the muz­zle of the AK-47 in­to his bel­ly. ‘That was an or­der,’ he yelled. ‘Are you go­ing to obey it?’

‘Yes, sir.’

He turned face front again, search­ing the gold­en nooks and cran­nies with his torch. The wom­an Gaille was ly­ing on the floor. At first he as­sumed her dead, but there we as­su cth­eas lit­tle sign of blood or trau­ma. He stooped, checked her throat, found a flut­ter of pulse. Still alive. Maybe he could use her. He stood up, aimed down at her face. ‘Come out,’ he shout­ed, his voice ring­ing around the cham­ber. ‘I’ll shoot her if you don’t. I mean it. Come out.’

Noth­ing hap­pened. Not so dumb. He con­sid­ered ex­ecut­ing his threat, but de­cid­ed against it. Killing her would on­ly show the oth­ers for sure what fate await­ed them, en­cour­age them to fight all the hard­er. He ad­vanced fur­ther, jag­ging his torch sharply this way and that, hop­ing to catch them by sur­prise. An in­take of breath to his left, he turned to­wards it, his torch light­ing up Lily cow­er­ing be­hind her fore­arms in the nar­row gap be­tween a throne and a paint­ed wood­en chest. She gave a soft whim­per when she re­al­ized he’d seen her, be­gan to shriek and car­ried on shriek­ing. He slammed the butt of his AK-47 in­to her fore­head, if on­ly to shut her up. Her tem­ple smacked against the chest, she slumped un­con­scious at his feet. With two wom­en now cap­tive, the dy­nam­ic had changed. He could shoot one sim­ply to show he was in earnest, then threat­en the oth­er to force the man to re­veal him­self. He aimed down at Gaille once more. ‘You’ve got five sec­onds,’ he said. ‘Four. Three. Tw—’

A blur in the reflection of one of the golden sarcophagi;...

Noise way back down the pas­sage. A man yelling out and splash­ing through wa­ter. He rec­og­nized his voice too. That damned po­lice­man Naguib! And he’d be here in a minute, no doubt bring­ing oth­ers with him. Ha­tred twist­ed Khaled’s heart like a tow­el be­ing wrung dry. He’d on­ly want­ed to make a half-​de­cent life for him­self. What had he done to these damned peo­ple, that they in­sist­ed on ru­in­ing it?

The man groaned and turned on­to his side. Khaled’s left arm was still too numb to use, but he did­n’t need it to fire the AK-47. He aimed down, was about to pull the trig­ger when he had a bet­ter idea. He turned the gun on Gaille in­stead, want­ing the man to watch these two wom­en die, to know that all his ef­forts had been in vain. He felt a gloat­ing sen­sa­tion in his bel­ly as his fin­ger tight­ened on the trig­ger. The loud­ness of the shot in the con­fined space took him by sur­prise. The way it echoed, the or­ange glow of muz­zle flash re­flect­ed in all this fab­ulous gold. The AK-47 dropped from his grasp, clat­tered to the ground. He was sur­prised to find him­self falling then ly­ing on his side, sali­va leak­ing from his mouth, the salty taste of it. The sec­ond shot punc­tured high on his ribcage, kick­ing him on­to his back. He looked up to see Faisal stand­ing above him, Faisal of all peo­ple, point­ing his own beloved Walther down at his chest, a look of per­fect calm­ness on his face.

He tried to ask the ques­tion, but for some rea­son his mouth was­n’t work­ing any more. He had to ask it with his eyes in­stead.

‘She gave me choco­late,’ an­swered Faisal. ‘What did you ev­er give me?’ Then he raised the muz­zle to Khaled’s face and pulled the trig­ger a third and fi­nal time.

It was the worst part of Knox’s day, ar­riv­ing at the hos­pi­tal with­out know­ing w the h fhether Gaille’s night had gone well or bad­ly. His heart be­gan to pound as he pushed through the dou­ble doors in­to re­cep­tion, his mouth dry­ing un­pleas­ant­ly. But a nurse lean­ing against the counter saw him and nod­ded ge­nial­ly. ‘She’s awake,’ he said.


‘Just af­ter you left last night.’

‘What?’ he protest­ed. ‘Why did­n’t some­one call me?’

The nurse gave a ‘not-​my-​busi­ness’ kind of shrug. Knox had to hide his ex­as­per­ation. There were times when Egypt drove him crazy. But then re­lief took over; he was too glad to be in­dig­nant. He took the steps three at a time as he hur­ried up to the sec­ond floor, bumped in­to a doc­tor com­ing out of her room.

‘How is she?’

‘She’s fine,’ he smiled. ‘She’s go­ing to be just fine. She’s been ask­ing for you.’

He went in­side, half ex­pect­ing to find her sit­ting up in bed, smil­ing bright­ly, bruis­es healed, ban­dages re­moved. It was­n’t like that, of course. Her black-​ringed eyes slid to the side to see who’d just en­tered, she man­aged a smile. He showed her the flow­ers and fruit he’d bought, made space for them on the win­dowsill. Then he kissed her fore­head and sat down. ‘You look ter­rif­ic,’ he told her.

‘They told me what you did,’ she slurred. ‘I can’t be­lieve it.’

‘Nor should you,’ he agreed. ‘I paid them a for­tune.’

A lit­tle laugh; a wince of pain. ‘Thanks,’ she said.

‘It was noth­ing,’ he as­sured her, cov­er­ing her hand with his. ‘Now close your eyes and get some rest.’

‘Tell me first.’

‘Tell you what?’


He nod­ded, sat back, com­posed his thoughts. So much had been hap­pen­ing, it was hard to know where to start. ‘Lily sends her love,’ he said. She’d flown back home with Stafford’s body, but there was no need to go in­to that just yet. ‘And we’ve been on TV a fair bit.’ A con­tender for un­der­state­ment of the year, that. It had been pan­de­mo­ni­um since that night, ev­ery­one want­ing to take cred­it for the dis­cov­ery of Akhen­aten’s tomb, while si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly dis­tanc­ing them­selves from the may­hem that had sur­round­ed it. Knox had been hap­py to let them fight be­tween them­selves. All he’d cared about was get­ting Gaille to the near­est de­cent hos­pi­tal. The fear had been eat­ing at him ev­er since, that he’d got to her too late; a fear so in­tense it had forced him to ac­knowl­edge to him­self how much deep­er his feel­ings for her ran than or­di­nary friend­ship.

But once he’d seen her – and Lily too – safe­ly in­to the hands of com­pe­tent and mo­ti­vat­ed doc­tors, he’d done his best to an­swer the ques­tions the po­lice and the SCA had thrown at him. He’d told them about the Ther­apeu­tae and the Car­pocra­tians, their Borg el-​Arab site, the fig­ure in the mo­sa­ic and the Greek let­ters that spelled out Akhen­aten’s name. He’d told them his the­ories about the Ex­odus and, when the tired­ness had got too much for him, he’d fool­ish­ly shared his wilder ideas about Amar­na and the Gar­den of Eden.

He’d wo­ken, the fol­low­ing morn­ing, to a me­dia firestorm. The tomb of Akhen­at­en and Ne­fer­ti­ti was by it­self quite enough to draw all the world’s ma­jor net­works; but some­one had leaked his the­ories too, and that had tak­en the sto­ry to an­oth­er lev­el. Rep­utable jour­nal­ists were ex­citably re­portin­nal­ist ke­pog as fact that Akhen­at­en and Ne­fer­ti­ti had been Adam and Eve, for how else could de­tails of their last rest­ing place have been de­scribed so pre­cise­ly in the Book of the Cave of Trea­sures. And they were claim­ing that the rid­dle of the Ex­odus was con­clu­sive­ly solved too: that the Jews had been Amar­na’s monothe­ists forced to flee Egypt by Akhen­aten’s re­ac­tionary suc­ces­sors.

But the back­lash had start­ed at once, his­to­ri­ans mock­ing the pu­ta­tive link be­tween Amar­na and Eden, claim­ing that the Book of the Cave of Trea­sures had been writ­ten two mil­len­nia af­ter Akhen­at­en, mak­ing any con­nec­tion pure­ly co­in­ci­den­tal. And re­li­gious schol­ars had weighed in too, ridi­cul­ing the no­tion that Adam, Abra­ham, Joseph and the oth­er pa­tri­archs had all been Akhen­at­en, point­ing out the Cre­ation and Flood ac­counts pre­dat­ed Amar­na, in­sist­ing that Gen­esis was­n’t a con­certi­na sim­ply to be squeezed that way.

But it was Yusuf Abbas, secretary general of the Supreme...

As for the Rev­erend Ernest Pe­ter­son, one night in cus­tody had done for him. Ac­cord­ing to Naguib, he’d not so much con­fessed to his crimes as boast­ed about them, brag­ging of his sa­cred mis­sion to find the face of Christ and bring the world to the light. He’d ad­mit­ted re­spon­si­bil­ity for Omar’s death, and told how he’d tried to kill Knox again and again. How he’d glad­ly do it all over. A Sol­dier of the Lord, he called him­self. A Sol­dier of the Lord who was about to spend the rest of his life in an Egyp­tian gaol. Knox was­n’t a vin­dic­tive man, but there were times he had to laugh.

Augustin had visited the afternoon before. He hadn’t...

Gaille’s eyes had closed. He watched her for a while, think­ing she’d fall­en asleep. But then she sud­den­ly opened them again and reached out a hand. ‘Don’t leave me,’ she said.


She closed her eyes again. She looked at peace. She looked...

Let them bid.

He pulled a paperback from his pocket and settled down to...

The the­ory that Moses and the Ex­odus might some­how be con­nect­ed to the reign of the heretic pharaoh Akhen­at­en has been around for de­cae­nat­en ndes, most fa­mous­ly ad­vo­cat­ed by Sig­mund Freud in his work Moses and Monothe­ism. But the pos­si­ble link be­tween Akhen­aten’s cap­ital city at Amar­na and the Es­sene set­tle­ment of Qum­ran is a more re­cent de­vel­op­ment, stir­ring­ly ad­vo­cat­ed by the British met­al­lur­gist Robert Feath­er in his book ‘The Cop­per Scroll De­cod­ed’, a fas­ci­nat­ing read for all fans of Egyp­tian his­to­ry.

Many peo­ple helped me with this book, both in Egypt and in Eng­land, and I’m very grate­ful to them all. But I would par­tic­ular­ly like to thank my agent Lui­gi Bono­mi and my ed­itor Wayne Brookes for their un­fail­ing sup­port, in­sight, en­thu­si­asm and ad­vice, with­out which writ­ing would be a much hard­er job than it al­ready is.


Will Adams has tried his hand at a mul­ti­tude of ca­reers over the years. Most re­cent­ly, he worked for a Lon­don-​based firm of com­mu­ni­ca­tions con­sul­tants be­fore giv­ing it up to pur­sue his life­long dream of writ­ing fic­tion. His first nov­el, The Alexan­der Ci­pher, is about a mod­ern-​day quest to find the lost tomb of Alexan­der the Great. A top-​twen­ty UK best­seller, it has been trans­lat­ed in­to thir­teen lan­guages. The Ex­odus Quest is his sec­ond nov­el.

Vis­it www.Au­thor­Track­ for ex­clu­sive up­dates on Will Adams.

The Alexan­der Ci­pher

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names,...

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