Clark's Eye on Books

Clark I reviews books and sometimes writes them!

The House of the Sphinx - Sarah Wisseman, Author


The House of the Sphinx - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

'Two weeks ago, when Abdul had sniffed his uncle's tobacco, he'd discovered a small, narrow object inside. His agile fingers had quickly untied the string and loosened the brown paper to reveal a cardboard tube that was labeled in a foreign script. Inside, he found a small glass ampule, pointed at one end. It was terribly fragile; the slight pressure of his questing fingers caused the thing to shatter in his hands, spilling fine dust on his aunt Safaa's pink headscarf lying over the chair back. Now his aunt Safaa was sick and nothing the doctors were doing is making her better.'

I followed Archaeologist Lisa Donahue and her physician husband James Barber through Wisseman's book The Fall of Augustus and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Now Wisseman takes the two on what was supposed to be a belated honeymoon in Egypt. But after James tries to help a fellow traveler and a native Egyptian that have taken sick with a mysterious illness that is causing high fever and blisters on their bodies, he finds himself being quarantined by the CDC. The disease, that is starting to spread, is thought to be a plot targeting foreigners, but who is spreading it and how? That is what Lisa and an old friend Greg must find out before it spreads beyond control.

The House of the Sphinx is written with history that only an Archaeologist such as Sarah Wisseman could write. She takes you through Egypt and describes the sites in such detail that if you close your eyes, you can almost see them. She also makes us aware of the possibility and simplicity of germ warfare. You become aware of how easily a disease that was once eradicated can be re-introduced to the world, even today. This is a book filled with education, not only in history but also in survival.

Publisher - Hilliard Harris
Published 2009
182 pages

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