Kate McKinnon is a medical illustrator, working in a Denver museum sketching/examining the mummy of "Tashat" as a favor to a friend. Their goal is to discover what caused the death of this possible royal Egyptian with massive internal injuries and a male head between her legs. Max Cavanaugh, a Houston, TX radiologist, meets Kate at the museum when he attempts to find the value of a piece of Egyptian jewelry from his late grandmother's collection. When Kate tells him the age of the mummy, he points out the medical impossibility of this and offers to arrange for a CT scan of the entire mummy to help Kate with her drawings and the ultimate study of "Tashat".
The novel alternates between the modern day investigation into the age-old murder of Tashat (and Kate & Max's budding relationship) and Senakhtenre's narration of the facts surrounding Aset's (misnamed Tashat) birth and life in Eighteenth dynasty Egypt. His chapters describe the political unrest of this dynasty since the fall of Akhenaten. Senakhtenre is a physician, older than Aset by 20+ years, who encourages experimentation in the medical practice. Aset, the artist, illustrates his ideas for posterity. Their story is about protecting innocent people from dictatorial takeover, their love as husband and wife, and medical research integrity.
The novel culminates in modern Egypt, where Kate and Max discover the truth about Tashat. The author includes strong descriptions of Egyptian life, ceremony, art, and architecture as well as medical terminology.
This report prepared by Samantha S.