Bert Carmody is a translator who specializes in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. He dreams of fame but seems destined to slog through boring grunt work for the rest of his career. Only handsome, young, and athletic guys like Rick Hamilton get the interesting assignments. Nothing in Bert’s life will ever go right as long as guys like Rick are around. Even gorgeous and sweet Melanie Kerry is more interested in Rick than in him.
Things begin to change when Bert acquires a mummified cat from one of the locals. Fame and Melanie might finally be within reach, if the consequences don’t catch up to him first.
Even from this horror wimp’s perspective, this wasn’t particularly scary. It managed to be slightly creepy at times (very slightly), but that was it.
Bert was a horrible guy. I felt a little sorry for him at first, because it did seem like he was in a depressing situation. And his boss did later admit that Rick got a better assignment because he had more star quality than Bert, even though Bert would have been better qualified for that assignment.
However, Bert lost sympathy points with me faster than he could earn them. He wallowed in his feelings of bitterness and resentment. Although there were opportunities for him to get to know the people around him better, he instead spent all of his time alone, thinking about how he deserved all these things that, from his point of view, kept falling into Rick’s lap. He lost any remaining sympathy I might have felt for him when he began to realize what was going on and decided that 1) it wasn’t really his fault since he wasn’t doing anything directly and 2) he was going to continue to try to reap the benefits.
The story was fairly predictable but not bad. The only thing I didn’t like was that
Melanie wasn’t able to escape. She didn’t deserve what happened to her. I suppose the other people who died didn’t either, but Melanie’s death bothered me the most.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)