The firebird is the phoenix, a mythical bird said to visit Egypt once every five hundred years. It symbolises rebirth. The murder in Cairo of Dr al-Ghali, Egyptian-born adviser to the US President, brought both the local police and the FBI to the scene. Feisty, country-born Lieutenant Sami is paired with the FBI agent, arrogant, attractive Daisy Brooke, with her degree in middle eastern studies from California. The only thing the dying man said was 'Firebird'. The explosive mix of character and national interest was fuelled by the discovery at the murder scene of an amulet traced to the Sanusiya Brotherhood, a fundamentalist Muslim sect thought to have disappeared at the turn of the century. The Sanusiya appear to have been involved in the excavation in the Western Desert of a remarkable site where Camyses III, King of Persia, and his vast army, armour and gold bullion, disappeared in a powerful sandstorm. And the words Operation Firebird seem enough to have every door slammed against you... The activities of a renegade group of Americans, apparently working for a secret organisation, of a strange Bedouin woman, always present just before violence occurs, and of the US Embassy and the various elements of Cairo police, make Sami and Daisy's investigations both difficult and dangerous. The combination of Egyptian myth and history with contemporary politics and violence, the author's deep and authoritative knowledge of the peoples and places of Egypt, the strength of the storytelling and characters make this, as it did his first novel, The Eye of Ra, a fascinating thriller.
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Used availability for Michael Asher's Firebird
July 2000 : UK Hardback
April 2016 : Paperback
June 2001 : UK Paperback
July 2000 : UK Paperback
May 2015 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition