Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson and Martin Dugard

Book Details
The Murder of King Tut by James Patterson and Martin Dugard
Hardcover, 352 pages
2009, Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 0316034045

A secret buried for centuries
Thrust onto Egypt's most powerful throne at the age of nine, King Tut's reign was fiercely debated from the outset. Behind the palace's veil of prosperity, bitter rivalries and jealousy flourished among the Boy King's most trusted advisers, and after only nine years, King Tut suddenly perished, his name purged from Egyptian history. To this day, his death remains shrouded in controversy.

The keys to an unsolved mystery

Enchanted by the ruler's tragic story 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, uncovered 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.

The Murder of King Tut is written in a format that jumps time periods every couple of chapters. In the ancient Egyptian period, you experience Tut's life from childhood until after his death. These chapters were mesmerizing. In the present day chapters, you learn James Patterson's personal thoughts on his process of planning, pitching and writing this book. I loved this insider's glimpse into Patterson's method. The other time period was the early 1900s focusing on archeology, specifically Harold Carter's search and eventual discovery of Tut's tomb. These chapters were dull, meticulous descriptions of every thought and movement Carter made during his search.

The Murder of King Tut was an interesting mixture of fact and historical fiction. Patterson brought Egyptian life and culture alive with his imagining of events. The more fact based descriptions of Carter's repeated failures were much harder to get through. Patterson's final deduction as to who murdered Tut was both expected and shocking all at once. The book was good, but dragged in far too many places to be considered great.


James Patterson's website
Martin Dugard's website


  1. This sounds very interesting! I've been on a big James Patterson kick lately! Thanks for sharing this one.

  2. Sorry this one dragged for you. I need to read it soon, but I'm kind of disturbed that it's been marketed as non-fiction.

  3. Interesting! When I was in fifth grade I wanted to be an archaeologist largely because of King Tut. I outgrew it, luckily, but the interest never quite went away.

  4. I was fascinated with the time and commitment Patterson put into the book and his findings.

    I admit some of the flashbacks were hard to follow but overall I did enjoy this one.