I'm probably going to ruffle a few feathers here, but I've never been a Dan Brown fan.
Thus, I did not show much enthusiasm to read Pharaoh when it was described on the back as "The Da Vinci Code of the deep sea".
But I enjoyed David Gibbins's novel. And how.
The story begins in 1351BC with Akhenaten, the Sun-Pharaoh, disappearing beneath the sands of the Great Pyramids of Giza.
On to AD1884, when a British soldier serving in Sudan comes across the remains of a submerged temple showing signs of human sacrifice.
Present day, and Jack Howard and his archaeology team are on the trail of the mystery, diving into the Nile in a bid to discover the truth behind the Sun-Pharaoh's disappearance. The deeper the team dived, the more I became engrossed.
It was Gordon of Khartoum's period I found most fascinating. Gibbins's description of the battle scenes are horrific - "Another officer with a knuckleduster grasped a dervish in a headlock and punched his nose upwards so that it shattered into the man's brain" - it was often a relief to get back to the relative peace of modern day.