Thursday, 20 June 2013

Books Read: Kate Furnivall - Shadows on the Nile

'I'll find him. I will.'

It's 1932 and 27-year-old Jessica is living London life to the full when her younger brother Tim, an ancient Egyptian archaeology expert, goes missing. Teaming up with Sir Montague Chamford - who can resist neither a damsel in distress nor the chance of adventure - Jessie vows to find her beloved brother.

Following the clues Tim has left in his wake, Jessie and Monty head to Egypt. In the relentless heat of the desert, romance is kindled between them, but danger also lurks in every shadow. And then Jessie starts to wonder how much Monty really knows about her brother's disappearance...

Having never read any of Kate Furnivall's books before I was unsure what to expect when I received a copy of Shadows on the Nile out of the blue.  

We first meet Jessie at age 7 shortly before her brother Georgie, who was a troubled child, is sent away by her parents and replaced by a new brother Tim.  Fast forward 20 years and Jessie and Tim are now as close as any brother and sister could be but she's never forgotten Georgie and often wonders where he is.

When Tim disappears suddenly Jessie senses that he's in trouble and sets out to look for him following the little clues, in the form of snippets from Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, that eventually takes her to Egypt.  Along the way she gathers a travel companion in the form of Montague Chamford, Monty, who was one of the last people to see Tim, and we also discover that Tim has found out where Georgie is and has been visiting him.  

It's during these interactions between Tim and Georgie that we are led to assume that Georgie has some form of autism, which I'm guessing wouldn't have been a recognised condition back in the 1930s, but it's still hard to believe that parents would send their children away just because they were different and couldn't function in normal social situations.  

The story had a little bit of everything in it, mystery and intrigue as to where Tim has disappeared to and why, plenty of drama as Jessie and Monty try to follow Tim's clues, and of course the obligatory romance.  But for me the build up was a little too dragged out as it took almost 200 pages for Jessie and Monty to reach Egypt!

I'd like to thank Kirsteen at Little Brown for sending me a copy of this book to review.

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