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Politics is a deadly game in the days of Kings and their competing 14th-century B.C. Egyptian factions. Official diplomat, Lord Hani, is on a royal assignment when he discovers even the king’s motives are suspect. Hani begins to fear for the welfare of his family and himself, as he gets a sinking feeling that the hunter has become the hunted. He’s the live bait, the Bird In A Snare.

Can Lord Hani find out who is responsible for the mysterious assassinations and the shifting armies’ alliances before becoming the one they target next?

The sands under the royal family’s feet are precarious. The investigation must be thorough but also quick. There is no time to waste in this seething era where a wave of change could bring dire consequences. Lord Hani knows he must stop the murderer to save himself and his family, but can he also act to protect the larger target, the fate of the Egyptian New Kingdom?

Lord Hani is summoned by the king to the Royal Palace and assigned a secret, specific investigation to complete on his majesty’s behalf. The king suspects not only murder but also betrayal. He decries what he sees as political manipulations that touch pockets of power, self-serving coalitions, and religious beliefs. The king knows not all his countrymen are honest, but he trusts Lord Hani. For help, Hani turns to his young secretary Maya, who is eager for adventure and dedicated to serving Lord Hani to his utmost capability. This mystery will undoubtedly test his skills. If he impresses, will he have the courage to voice his love for his boss’ daughter, and ask for her hand in marriage?

The extensive travel required to visit scenes of crimes and associated places of interest takes a prolonged time by boat and overland, leaving Lord Hani’s family unprotected. He’s concerned for the safety of his children and wife in his absence. There is good reason to worry. Threats arise from people of the royal court, and also people from the uprising new religion. A risk even exists from within Lord Hani’s own family, namely, his eldest son. Time is not on his side as Hani and his secretary Maya follow clues, interview suspects, and analyze motives. The action reaches a crescendo, and Lord Hani will have to confront his most dreaded fears.

Bird in a Snare by N. L. Holmes is beautifully descriptive, with details that bring the historic period and the fascinating characters to vibrant life. Suspense builds as an intricate web of intrigue is spun. Readers will be delighted to learn that this is the first of a series set in the ancient Egypt of Akhenaten’s reforms.