Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review: The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson & Martin Dugard


Book Source: Personal collection
Release Date:  2009

Book Synopsis:
Master of suspense James Patterson reopens the ultimate cold case—the unsolved death of King Tut. 

A secret buried for centuries
Thrust onto Egypt's most powerful throne at the age of nine, King Tut was challenged from the first days of his reign. The veil of prosperity could not hide the bitter rivalries and jealousy that flourished among the Boy King's most trusted advisers. Less than a decade after his elevatation, King Tut suddenly perished, and in the years and centuries that followed, his name was purged from Egyptian history. To this day, his death remains shrouded in controversy.

The keys to an unsolved mystery
Intrigued by what little was known about Tut, and hoping to unlock the answers to the 3,000-year-old mystery, Howard Carter made it his life's mission to uncover the pharaoh's hidden tomb. He began his search
in 1907 but encountered countless setbacks and dead ends before he finally discovered the long-lost crypt.

The clues point to murder
Now, in The Murder of King Tut, James Patterson and Martin Dugard dig through stacks of evidence—X-rays, Carter's files, forensic clues, and stories told through the ages—to arrive at their own account of King Tut's life and death. The result is an exhilarating, true crime tale of intrigue, passion, and betrayal that casts fresh light on the oldest mystery of all.

Review: Egyptology has always fascinated me and it is one of my biggest passions in life, which is why I snatched this book up in a heartbeat! King Tutankhamen (King Tut) is the most fascinating Pharaoh in my opinion because he has mystified us all.

Patterson wrote this as a three part story. It is told in present day by Patterson himself where he describes his journey in trying to learn and write about Tut as the boy king. The second story line takes place in the early 1900’s and is told by the Egyptologist, Howard Carter, and his amazing discovery in 1922 of King Tut’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings, which took him nearly thirty years to find. The last and most interesting story in my opinion takes place in 1335 B.C. and is based on King Tut’s story as a young boy king who married his half sister Ankhesenpaaten in order to secure his right as pharaoh once his stepmother, Nefertiti, died.

This has been the most difficult review for me to write without completely giving away the entire story and also because I came across some flaws in Patterson’s research. With being an Egyptian history fanatic, I was already very familiar with Tut’s story and the multiple theories of his death. I can’t reveal what I know without completely spoiling this book, which is why I stated before how this was such a difficult review for me to write. 

Opinion: Overall, I found this book to be very interesting and easy to read. I thought overall this book to be well researched and thought out. I loved the pictures that Patterson incorporated into the book in order to paint a better picture for the reader of what Carter saw when entering Tut’s tomb. I did not know about Howard Carter’s story and his discovery of King Tut’s tomb and how many setbacks he had to face such as getting the funds to excavate, fending off tomb robbers, and fighting the Egyptian government for the rights to dig. 

I would have given this book a 5 star rating if Patterson would have mentioned the multiple theories of Tut’s death. With this being a nonfiction book I would have liked for Patterson to have listed references in order to back up both his and Dugard’s theory. I will allow you to find out for yourself what Patterson and Dugard came up with for their final conclusion of Tut’s demise and why. I would really like to sit down and talk to both Patterson and Dugard and ask them to explain their reasoning but that’s completely wishful thinking on my part. Overall, this was a great book especially for it being nonfiction. I definitely would recommend this book to those who would like to learn about tomb excavation and King Tut’s story, but I would suggest once finishing the book to do a little research on the multiple theories of Tut’s death so you will know the multiple sides of the story. 

Before I end this review, I would like to make one last statement. Egyptian history will always remain a little murky. We will never know the TRUE cause of death of King Tut because we simply do not have all the facts. Right now I have Egyptian history on my brain so I hope to sometime in the next day or so discuss more about King Tutankhamen and I hope you all will enjoy it and find it as intriguing and spell bounding as I do.


  1. This sounds really good! I've always been fascinated with Egyptology and the death of King Tut. Thanks for the review!

  2. @Siobian Your welcome. This was a great book with just a little hiccups but overall it was amazing and a true eye opener! I would definitely recommend it if you're like me and love Egyptology!


  3. When I started reading your review I was thinking "I must read this one!" but when you got to the part about them not including multiple theories, I was a bit put off. I love Howard Carter's story though, so I might give it a try still.

  4. @Sam My intention for this review was not to steer people away from reading it, but to caution them and let them know that there is more than one theory to King Tut's death. I LOVED this book which is why I gave it a 4 star rating. It's definitely worth reading.


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