He Shall Thunder in the Sky: An Amelia Peabody Mystery

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9780786228287: He Shall Thunder in the Sky: An Amelia Peabody Mystery

Amelia and Emerson Peabody travel to Egypt to continue their archaeological work, but a nationalist is stirring up trouble in the town where they are working, and Amelia's nemesis, Sethos, has apparently re-emerged.

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Review:

He Shall Thunder in the Sky completes an internal quartet (which also includes Seeing a Large Cat, The Ape Who Guards the Balance, and The Falcon at the Portal) within Elizabeth Peters's legendary series starring Amelia Peabody, the intrepid Edwardian Egyptologist, her husband, Emerson, and her extended family. The quartet comprises not only Amelia's diary of those years but also parts of a mysterious "Manuscript H," an omniscient viewpoint that allows a glimpse into the minds of Amelia's son--the dashing and brilliant Ramses--and her ward, Nefret Forth, as they mature into adults with their own secrets and agendas. The Falcon at the Portal left readers hanging impatiently in the enormous rift that book's events gouged between Ramses and Nefret, both madly in love but unrelentingly proud.

The winter of 1914-15 finds the Peabody-Emerson family back in Cairo--now under British martial law, with the Suez Canal under constant threat of attack from the Ottoman Empire. The city's young Englishmen are rushing to enlist, except for Ramses, who is widely scorned for his pacifism. Yet Amelia and Emerson soon find out that Ramses is (literally) playing a mysterious and potentially explosive part in the conflict between Egyptian nationalists and the British authorities, for reasons both political and familial. Nefret, for her part, is still running a health clinic for the city's fallen women and trying to avoid the attentions of Percy, Amelia's odious nephew. In the meantime, the Emersons' excavations at Giza reveal an unexpected treasure so remarkable that the uneasy Amelia immediately senses the fine hand of Sethos, the Master Criminal (who through many previous books has alternately plagued her and protested his boundless affection for her), at work. The climax and denouement are entirely worth the price of admission--tying up a decade's worth of loose strings and explaining some nagging points so subtle that less observant readers might easily have missed them. It's Peters's great gift that in the grand scheme of things, no clues are wasted. Her plotting is wonderfully complex and intriguing, and it fits seamlessly into the detailed historical background she builds so carefully. It may have taken years for her to complete this four-part dance (she promises more Amelia Peabody mysteries in the future), but she's charmed us right out of our dancing slippers along the way. --Barrie Trinkle

From the Back Cover:

Trouble is brewing in Egypt at the close of 1914 and no one will escape the fury of the tempest to come. With the world around them at war, Amelia Peabody and her husband Radcliffe Emerson have returned to Cairo for another season of archaeological excavation -- despite the increasing danger of an attack on the Suez Canal and on Egypt itself.

A terrible conflict looms. A long-simmering love affair is resolved. A dastardly plot twists like a serpent writhing in the desert sun. There is no escaping the onrushing hurricane that now threatens the Emersons and their world -- so Amelia plunges right into it.

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Peters, Elizabeth
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