Five Star, Jan 2004, 26.95, 254 pp.
In 1939 Atlanta Journal reporter Alex Fraser inherits the family home in Thebes, Georgia. There he finds a stack of love letters from Cairo addressed to his deceased mother, but not written by his father. When the American Newspaper Consortium, anticipating the war and the increased value of the Suez Canal, offers him their new post in Cairo Alex accepts, seeing this as an opportunity to learn more about his family who, including him, once lived there.
In Cairo, Alex finds his assistant Copt Egyptian Nadia Simatha quite helpful. He meets renowned photographer Catherine Molyneaux and through the two women joins the Group of 8 that allegedly goes touring together. As he and Catherine fall in love, he looks into his Egyptian heritage with a shocker awaiting him. They also uncover a plot involving the Group of 8 and the Suez Canal that ties back to his family tree. The enemy is quite powerful and will resort to anything to achieve their goals.
AN AFFAIR OF EGYPT is an exciting historical tale that enables readers to observe life in Egypt just prior to World War II. Though the conspiracy seems stretched, readers will think of Bin Laden and the concentric circles that surround him. Alex is a likable protagonist while Catherine provides insightful but unnecessary angst from her time covering the Spanish Civil War when soldiers raped her. Barrington King is a pharaoh as he serves up a potent slice of history.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner