The Murder of King Tut

The Murder of King Tut

by James Patterson, Martin Dugard


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The mystery of King Tut's death in Ancient Egypt has haunted the world for centuries. Discover the ultimate true crime story of passion and betrayal, where the clues point to murder.

Thrust onto Egypt's most powerful throne at the age of nine, King Tut's reign was fiercely debated from the outset. Behind the palace's veil of prosperity, bitter rivalries and jealousy flourished among the Boy King's most trusted advisors, and after only nine years, King Tut suddenly perished, his name purged from Egyptian history. To this day, his death remains shrouded in controversy.

Now, in The Murder of King Tut, James Patterson and Martin Dugard dig through stacks of evidence-X-rays, Carter's files, forensic clues, and stories told through the ages-to arrive at their own account of King Tut's life and death. The result is an exhilarating true crime tale of intrigue, passion, and betrayal that casts fresh light on the oldest mystery of all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446539777
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 10/12/2010
Pages: 357
Sales rank: 128,746
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels , the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.


Palm Beach, Florida

Date of Birth:

March 22, 1947

Place of Birth:

Newburgh, New York


B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971

Read an Excerpt

The Murder of King Tut

By Patterson, James

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2010 Patterson, James
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446539777


Valley of the Kings


IT WAS NEW YEAR’S EVE as a somber, good-looking explorer named Howard Carter, speaking fluent Arabic, gave the order to begin digging.

Carter stood in a claustrophobic chamber more than three hundred feet underground. The air was dank, but he craved a cigarette. He was addicted to the damn things. Sweat rings stained the armpits of his white button-down, and dust coated his work boots. The sandal-clad Egyptian workers at his side began to shovel for all they were worth.

It had been almost two years since Carter had been thrown from his horse far out in the desert. That lucky fall had changed his life.

He had landed hard on the stony soil but was amazed to find himself peering at a deep cleft in the ground. It appeared to be the hidden entrance to an ancient burial chamber.

Working quickly and in secret, the twenty-six-year-old Egyptologist obtained the proper government permissions, then hired a crew to begin digging.

Now he expected to become famous at a very young age—and filthy rich.

Early Egyptian rulers had been buried inside elaborate stone pyramids, but centuries of ransacking by tomb robbers inspired later pharaohs to conceal their burial sites by carving them into the ground.

Once a pharaoh died, was mummified, and then sealed inside such a tomb with all his worldly possessions, great pains were taken to hide its location.

But that didn’t help. Tomb robbers seemed to find every one.

Carter, a square-shouldered man who favored bow ties, linen trousers, and homburg hats, thought this tomb might be the exception. The limestone chips that had been dumped into the tunnels and shaft by some long-ago builder—a simple yet ingenious method to keep out bandits—appeared untouched.

Carter and his workers had already spent months removing the shards. With each load that was hauled away, he became more and more certain that there was a great undisturbed burial chamber hidden deep within the ground. If he was right, the tomb would be filled with priceless treasures: gold and gems, as well as a pharaoh’s mummy.

Howard Carter would be rich beyond his wildest dreams, and his dreams were indeed spectacular.

“The men have now gone down ninety-seven meters vertical drop,” Carter had written to Lady Amherst, his longtime patron, “and still no end.” Indeed, when widened the narrow opening that he had stumbled upon revealed a network of tunnels leading farther underground.

At one point, a tunnel branched off into a chamber that contained a larger-than-life statue of an Egyptian pharaoh.

But that tunnel had dead-ended into a vertical shaft filled with rock and debris.

As the months passed, the workers forged on, digging ever deeper, so deep in fact that the men had to be lowered down by rope each day. Carter’s hopes soared. He even took the unusual step of contacting Britain’s consul general in Cairo to prepare him for the glorious moment when a “virgin” tomb would be opened.

Now he stood at the bottom of the shaft. Before him was a doorway sealed with plaster and stamped with the mark of a pharaoh—the entrance to a burial chamber.

Carter ordered his workers to knock it down.

The shaft was suddenly choked with noise and a storm of dust as the men used picks and crowbars to demolish the ancient door. Carter hacked into his handkerchief as he struggled to see through the haze.

His heart raced as he finally held his lantern into the burial chamber. The workers standing behind him peered excitedly over his shoulder.

There was nothing there.

The treasure, and the pharaoh’s mummy, had already been stolen.

By somebody else.


Excerpted from The Murder of King Tut by Patterson, James Copyright © 2010 by Patterson, James. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Murder of King Tut 2.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
DevourerOfBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Abysmal. I can't believe they let him call it nonfiction, when it was clearly historical fiction - and bad historical fiction, at that.
KamGeb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved the book. It read like a novel. (And in many ways it was more of a novel than non-fiction.) So if you are looking for great non-fiction that really is accurate Egyptology this is probably not the book. But if you are looking for a fun read that is based on King Tut this was a fun book.
shsunon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Should The Murder of King Tut be classified as historical fiction? I liked the richness of detail and the way the book moved from ancient Egypt to Carter's obsessive "digs" to Patterson's interest in writing the book. I found Howard Carter to be just as interesting a character as King Tut.
JeffV on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Best-selling authors James Patterson and Martin Dugard team up on this mostly (as we know it) non-fiction tale of the Egyptian pharaoh, King Tut. Genuine information on the boy king is scarce, by design of the murder conspiracy, it seems (according to the authors). The book runs several threads -- an embellished drama telling of the life of the boy king; the story of Howard Carter, discoverer of the tomb in Egypt's The Valley of the Kings, and the story of Patterson and Dugard researching the topic and developing their own theories using available clues. The conclusion is certainly plausible. Given the author's talents, a full-blown historical novel on the subject might have had a better flow, and in the end accomplished the same thing. We don't know the events described here are really what happened, or even in part happened. We do know Carter's story, and that has been the subject of multiple books over the years. Combining the two in a relatively short book feels a bit like neither subject was adequately covered. However, I'm not sure they could have gone on much more on Tut without abandoning the pretense of writing a true story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Patterson’s style is fun and easy to read in this book. He provides an interesting theory through a riveting plot line and convinces the reader that Tut was murdered through the stories he tells. At first, it was slightly confusing how Patterson switches back and forth between time periods and perspectives throughout the book, but once you get accustomed to the style then you will find it interesting and see how it stops the less interesting plots from dragging on or being too dry. Speaking of the different perspectives, he opens and closes with the present day in which a man is looking into the death of King Tut, and I thought this was interesting since the present day setting was only in sparse other places throughout the book. Personally, as I assume most will, I found the plot line in the setting of ancient Egypt to be the most fascinating of all. I am Egyptian and it was cool to read about the life of that time, along with a suspenseful story keeping me on the edge of my seat. Some parts of the present day chapters were a tad confusing due to the fact it was hard to keep track of who was who since those characters only showed up two or three times throughout the book. After reading this book, I do feel convinced that Aye (royal scribe) had Tut killed. Though implicit, there is in fact an argument that can be pulled from this text, and that is obviously that Tut was murdered. Patterson does a swell job at convincing the reader of this fact through the motives he brings to the table, and how the timing and matter of Tut’s death was just perfect for the people succeeding the throne. After all, why wouldn’t an older man who was an underdog his whole career seize the opportunity of being pharaoh? All he had to do was get rid of the boy king (only 17 at the time), and such was a simple task after Tut was in an unfortunate chariot accident. It was a piece of cake to make it look like Tut died from the accident. And after that, Aye even had the widowed queen’s new prospected king murdered. It was all perfectly laid out and executed, and after being exposed to all of these facts, it seems almost impossible for someone to still believe that King Tut’s death was an accident.
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BintElNile More than 1 year ago
King Tut will always fascinate us. Having read volumes on his life and that of Howard Carter Mr. Patterson's portrayal is very accurate. Living in Egypt has allowed me to see all of the sites up close and personal. A good read (listen) on audio CDs for a long drive.
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Annabell57 More than 1 year ago
While Patterson's earliest novels were compelling and fun to read, he has become formulaic, predictable. This newest is just more of the same. He has nothing new to offer about the life and death of King Tut. His imagined conversations are just that...imagined and juvenile. In light of the newest scientific discoveries about the health and death of this mysterious Egyption King, Patterson has nothing to offer except more of his self promotion. A very disappointing read.
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