The Murder of King Tut: The Plot to Kill the Child King: A Nonfiction Thriller
By James Patterson and Martin Dugard
Little, Brown & Co., 2009. 332 pgs. Nonfiction
Thriller writer James Patterson, with co-writer Martin Dugard, tackle one of the most fascinating murders in history in this “nonfiction thriller”. He tells three stories. First, that of his and Dugard’s investigation and discovery process as they searched for answers to this ancient mystery. Second, they describe the career of the Egyptologist Howard Carter who, after years of searching, uncovered the tomb of the Child King in 1922. And finally, in a novelized format, the story of King Tut unfolds from his birth and early ascension to the throne of Egypt, to his untimely and suspicious death.
I have not read any of Patterson’s work in years and was seriously disappointed in this choppy, misleading, and unsatisfying book. Patterson and Dugard’s story is annoying, self-important, and pointless. Carter’s storyline was the best part of the narrative since it was clearly based on actual events and tells of the man’s passionate dedication to discovering the hidden treasures of Egypt. Tut’s story is so clearly speculative I am still struggling with the book’s inclusion in our nonfiction collection. The prose and writing were so horrible, I’m a little embarrassed I finished it.