||Austin & Macauley, UK
The 'Other Egypt' Blog by author Roy Lester Pond
A modern archaeological thriller
An ancient, esoteric time bomb
WHAT IS THE HEAVEN-AND-EARTH-SHATTERING SECRET?
The murder of an Egyptologist rings alarm bells with the US Department of Homeland Security. Before he knows it they co-opt his son, controversial historian Anson Hunter, into an investigation that has stunning implications for US security. Yet soon their search attracts the attention of radical Islamists as well as the Egyptian authorities. Dark suspicions surface, suspicions that Anson s father found evidence of a secret that will shake the foundations of every major world religion. Soon, whichever way they turn, Anson and his team find themselves trapped in a labyrinth of intrigue and menace that becomes too hideously real. Anson Hunter s special knowledge as an alternative Egyptologist, theorist and phenomenologist may be the key to stopping a catastrophe.
SEE You-tube Book Trailer for THE SMITING TEXTS:
THEY INTERCEPTED him as he came out of Baltimore-Washington Airport, two men wearing suits and an air of officialdom like a brisk cologne.
“Mr Anson Hunter, the British Egyptologist?”
Egyptologist? That sounded good. Very establishment. Anson stood a bit taller, which placed his beanstalk elevation a few inches above theirs. The man could have said independent, renegade Egyptologist and phenomenologist, lecturer at out-of-town halls and auditoriums, writer, blogger and alternative theorist as well as leader of occasional, fringe tour groups to Egypt. But instead the man had said ‘Egyptologist’.
“Who wants to know?”
“You are invited to Johns Hopkins University. They wish to hear you speak.”
Anson goggled. Johns Hopkins and Anson Hunter? His moment of elation quickly faded. They didn’t belong in the same sentence.
“A nice thought, gentlemen, but venerable institutions like Johns Hopkins don’t wish people like me to speak. They would prefer us not to breathe.”
Anson had arrived to give a lecture on ancient Egyptian ritual smiting power and execration texts at a hired Masonic hall that evening.
He tried to move past, but the men blocked his way, smiling with steely politeness.
“Please come with us, Sir.”
“There must be some mistake.”
The spokesman frowned and reached inside his coat.
Hell, Anson thought, what is this? Has mainstream Egyptology finally sent a hit squad?
The hand came out of the coat. Anson resumed the business of breathing. The man flipped open a wallet, by way of introduction.
Anson glimpsed a crest – an eagle inside a circle and the words:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Also a name, Browning. He was a broad-faced man with steady eyes.
Anson’s ex-wife May had always said that he had the burning eyes of fanatic. Had they picked him out as a likely threat to the US homeland? This Johns Hopkins stuff was just a cover for an arrest.
He suddenly felt very alien.
“I’ve been a mild threat to conventional Egyptology for years,” he said, “but I hardly rate as a security risk.”
“We need your help, Mr Hunter.”
The other man relieved him of his suitcase and also took his briefcase containing his laptop.
“Careful, there’s an explosive PowerPoint presentation in there,” Anson said.
Browning flicked a glance towards Anson’s briefcase, but a sense of humour overtook his instinct to protect the homeland. He allowed himself a flinty smile.
“Ah, yes. Almost had me going there.”
“Would you please explain why Johns Hopkins Near Eastern Studies Department would be even faintly interested in my theories?”
The man lowered his voice.
“It’s not that Department that wants you. Johns Hopkins is also the Centre of Excellence for a new Homeland Security Centre. Goes by the full name of the Centre for the Study of High Consequence Event Preparedness and Response. You’ll be addressing a consortium that’s studying how the nation can best prepare for and respond to a range of unexpected large-scale incidents or disasters.”
Egypt Then & Now
"Such a great book! Very imaginative and factual at the same time... hopefully will reach a far wider readership than the Egyptology community." - Ben Morales-Correa, Egypt Then and Now.
"A controversial Egyptologist is hired to avert a clash between two world superpowers thousands of years apart
Mr. Anson Hunter is an Egyptologist not so comfortable with the term. A phenomenologist who specializes in what the author calls fringe Egyptology, Hunter interprets arcane Egyptian belief in a way that still poses a threat to the stability of modern western civilization. For Hunter, Ancient Egypt was the world superpower of its day, much like the U.S. in present times. Like its present counterpart, Ancient Egypt had its own version of weapons of mass destruction in the form of smiting rituals and execration texts with the potency to destroy enemies at long distances. This supranormal “remote killing” power was capable of transcending the boundaries of space and time. Upon this premise the author constructs a thriller that takes us on a journey that includes Egypt’s most visited “pharaonic” attractions, action packed with murder, chase scenes, cliff hangers and love among the ruins, accompanied by US Homeland Security agents, spies, Coptic monks, a young attractive female Egyptologist, government officials, hit men in gallabeyahs and a cold-blooded female assassin in full black hijab.
The author does not disguise his knowledge of mainstream Egyptology as he describes the ancient sites like a seasoned tour guide. But as an alternative Egyptologist, Anson Hunter untangles new mysteries about the ancient Egyptian civilization affirmation of survival after death by the power of symbolism and magic over matter, a virtual afterlife built by a collective unconscious, sustained by religion and tangible in the form of pyramids, temples and tombs. His elucidations are esoteric bombs that undermine the foundations of today’s world major religions.
The plot unfolds like a box office hit in the genre of the Indiana Jones series, Stargate and the new Mummy adventure sequels, none of which I’m really fanatic about. Yet I would enjoy watching the scene where Anson Hunter recites a prayer from one chapter of the Book of the Dead to unravel the engineering secrets of Ancient Egypt and manages to escape from certain death in the entrails of the Devourer.
The Truth About Books, UK
“An intellect's version of The Mummy...
Roy Lester Pond provides a sumptuous feast on which to devour multiple strands of Egypt's ancient past and potential future.
Initially set out as an ambiguous investigation by the US Homeland Security into a possible terrorist threat culminating in the recent murder of controversial Egyptologist, Anson Hunter's father - the plot is interspersed with a tale of ancient Egypt. An ancient hunter's fate to recapture the Goddess of devastation and entomb himself with her in order to save Egypt is particularly beautiful and lifts the overall book beyond the normal conspiratorial-action-thriller. An Indiana Jonesesque ending, but otherwise a wonderfully clever and original story.”
Misti Cooper, Read Between the Lines, Edinburgh
“Compellingly brought to life in modern day Egypt… The Smiting Texts is a fast paced adventure story that will pull you in and won’t let go, even after you turn the last page.
The Smiting Texts was a very enjoyable read which fans of Indiana Jones and the Stargate franchise would do well to dive into.
Although the book is written in the third person, the reader is only ever exposed to information within the protagonist – ‘alternative Egyptologist Anson Hunter’s - sphere of perception, creating a sense of experience and empathy that draws you in from the start.
I believe Hunter will be a universally likeable lead in that, although the book deals with some controversial ideas, Hunter himself holds no strong opinions that could interfere with the reader’s own involvement in the story. He is equally likeable due to his sarcastic observations and dry wit as he is due to his agreeable nature.
An entertaining novel which will probably have you searching for “The ‘Other Egypt’” as soon as you put it down – just in case.”
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