The Crocodile Makes No Sound

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
418 Pages
Reviewed on 07/10/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

N.L. Holmes is the pen name of a professional archaeologist who received her doctorate from Bryn Mawr College. She has excavated in Greece and in Israel, and taught ancient history and humanities at the university level for many years. She has always had a passion for books, and in childhood, she and her cousin (also a writer today) used to write stories for fun.
Today, since their son is grown, she lives with her husband, three cats and a dog. They split their time between Florida and northern France, where she gardens, weaves, plays the violin, dances, and occasionally drives a jog-cart. And reads, of course.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Crocodile Makes No Sound is a work of fiction in the historical world of ancient Egypt and was penned by author N. L. Holmes. Combining accurate historical realism with emotive characters and intense drama, this novel is the sequel to the excellent Bird In A Snare. We are reunited with the empathetic and heroic protagonist Lord Hani as his diplomatic ventures continue, and once more we find ourselves embroiled in a fascinating political plot. As Hani takes on an investigation for the Beloved Royal Wife, he learns how to carefully toe the line between his own conscience and the loyalty he must show to the king.

Author N. L. Holmes delivers another stellar volume in the Lord Hani Mysteries collection with this new novel that picks up a few years after the previous novel. Having been wowed by the sensual and immersive introduction to ancient Egypt from book one, it was wonderful to step back into Hani’s world and see the adjustments and difficulties that have occurred since the regime change. The dialogue shone for me in this volume, with each character finding their unique voice and delivering emotive conversations that flag all the suspicions and turmoil that lie beneath the surface. I felt that the development of the female characters, struggling in this patriarchal society, was also especially well done, and I adored both Neferet and Nefertiti for their trials and tribulations. Overall, I would highly recommend The Crocodile Makes No Sound for fans of Lord Hani who want to fall into these amazing political thriller mysteries of the ancient world.

Jamie Michele

The Crocodile Makes No Sound by N.L. Holmes is the second historical fiction book in The Lord Hani Mystery Series, preceded by book one, Bird in a Snare. Lord Hani is an ambassador to the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, a king under constant threat as he furthers the wildly contentious transition from polytheistic worship to monolatry and the sole worship of Aten. In a perilous balancing act, Hani must contend with the powerful and seductive Queen Nefertiti while navigating the welfare of Akhenaten's second wife, Kaya. His life at home is at its own near-boiling point with his youngest daughter Neferet and her desire to become a doctor and the intensity and sedition of his wife Nub-nefer's brother, who is bent on toppling the 18th Dynasty. “Your silence will overthrow your enemies. The crocodile makes no sound, yet fear of it is ancient.”

N.L. Holmes delivers a fully immersive reading experience with The Crocodile Makes No Sound. Despite it being the second book in the series and my not having had the pleasure of reading the first, this reads comfortably as a stand-alone. Tales of dynastic intrigue that take place in an ancient world that truly existed but little is known about can go either way—wonderfully absorbing or laughably implausible. Holmes strikes the former in a world of rich detail, incredible character development, and dialogue that is able to satiate a hunger for authenticity without the baggage of antiquated chatter. I will absolutely be taking a step back in the series to read book one, and am happy to discover that I will not have to wait for book three as Sceptre of Flint is already available.

Susan Sewell

A diplomat must find a way to remain politically neutral while navigating the subterfuge and intrigue seething beneath the surface of a new regime in the historical fiction novel, The Crocodile Makes No Sound (A Lord Hani Investigation) by N. L. Holmes. When Hani, a diplomat in King Akh-en-aten's new regime, discovers his wife's brother Amen-em-hut is missing, he is concerned. Openly voicing his anger and resentment against the replacement of their pantheon of gods, Amen-em-hut places himself, his family, and associates in danger. However, that is just the beginning of Hani's troubles. Hani is obligated to host a disgruntled vassal and his entourage in his home indefinitely. Then he is summoned by the Greatly Beloved Wife of the King to investigate a treasonous matter. Soon after, the sculptor engaged to his niece is murdered, and Hani experiences several attempts on his own life. With danger escalating and unknown mercenaries threatening his life, Hani struggles to preserve his family and home. Can he succeed? Or will he lose his life to one of the factions closing in on him?

The second book in an enchanting series, The Crocodile Makes No Sound (A Lord Hani Investigation) by N. L. Holmes is a suspenseful and entertaining novel that takes place in the fourteenth century B.C. Brilliantly written and historically accurate, this captivating story is set in Egypt's New Kingdom era, taking the reader on an exciting adventure into the realms of the distant past. Ms. Holmes has skillfully created a story world based on historical fact with such finesse that, although the characters and background have been gone for millennia, they bear a genuine essence of realism and authenticity that is relatable. Filled with intrigue and suspense, it is an exceptional story containing a solid plot, engaging characters, and a well-defined story arc. This being one of the most unique and extraordinary sleuth mystery novels I have ever read, I recommend it to everyone who enjoys history, mysteries, and suspense.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Crocodile Makes No Sound by N.L. Holmes is a riveting historical novel. Akhenaten has been in power for four years and those who practiced Amen-Ra, the old religion now outlawed, are fast becoming dissatisfied with things. Hani is a diplomat; his brother-in-law, a firebrand Amen priest, has disappeared and the king has people watching Hani closely. Hani finds himself investigating blackmail against Nefertiti, the Beloved Royal Wife, and gets in deeper than he is comfortable with. In the meantime, the vassal king of A’amu is awaiting an audience with the king, spending his time at Hani’s house but he isn’t as loyal as he should be and he makes no secret of it. Hani is in an awkward position – stuck between his conscience and his loyalty and oath to his king.

The Crocodile Makes No Sound by N.L. Holmes is the sequel to Bird in a Snare. I have not read the first book and this one makes me wish I had because it is one of the most action-packed stories set in this time that I have ever read. The author clearly knows her Egyptian history; it shines through in the descriptions that transport you straight to the heart of ancient Egypt. The characters are strong, well developed, and likable and they, along with plenty of action and twists and turns, immerse you deep into this thrilling tale of subterfuge, blackmail, and conflict. At the start of the book is a helpful map of the Egyptian Empire as it was, a useful addition to the story. This is a fascinating tale, steeped in historical fact and thrilling action.