The Labyrinth of Osiris

Paul Sussman

Long Listed for The Crimefest Edunnit Awards 2012

Labyrinth of Osiris

‘As well as teaching us a lot about our world in general and the Middle East in particular – the integrity, friendship and self-sacrifice as well as the cruelty, prejudice, the corruption of power and money – Paul Sussman’s final novel is as thrilling an archaeological adventure as you’re likely to read: wildly exciting, brutal, expertly informed and utterly unputdownable.’ Simon Sebag-Montefiore, author of Jerusalem: The Biography

At once both gritty police procedural and edge-of-your-seat archaeological thriller, The Labyrinth of Osiris reunites reluctant friends Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor Police and hard-nosed Jerusalem detective Arieh Ben-Roi, protagonists of Sussman’s universally acclaimed and internationally bestselling second novel, The Last Secret of the Temple.

Since they last met, life has moved on for both men. About to become a father for the first time, Ben-Roi finds himself investigating a gruesome murder in Jerusalem’s Armenian Cathedral. When a link emerges with an English engineer who mysteriously disappeared from Luxor in 1931, Ben-Roi turns for help to his old friend and sparring partner Yusuf Khalifa.

Khalifa’s life too has changed, although in his case not for the better. Preoccupied with personal troubles and immersed in an investigation of his own – a series of unexplained well-poisonings in Egypt’s Eastern desert – he agrees for old time’s sake to do some digging for his Israeli colleague.

Inexorably their investigations entwine, drawing Ben-Roi and Khalifa into a sinister web of violence, sex-trafficking, corporate malpractice and anti-capitalist terrorism. And at the heart of the web lies the Labyrinth – a three-thousand year old mystery that for one detective will bring redemption, and for the other tragedy.

The Labyrinth of Osiris is a sweeping, stunningly-written, edge-of-your-seat mystery that will keep you guessing right up until the very last page.

‘Just finished the Labyrinth of Osiris by the late Paul Sussman. A terrific read. Furious he’s gone. A great man and an excellent novelist.’ Jay Rayner

‘With two three-dimensional heroes, the Israeli detective Arieh Ben-Roi and his Egyptian friend Yusuf Khalifa, and a satisfying sense of being set in the real world, with sub-plots involving cyber crime, sex trafficking and terrorism. It’s the sort of thing Dan Brown would write if he had a feel for people and places, and reminds us that crime fiction is one field where the Brits give the Americans a run for their money on the medal table.’ Daily Telegraph

‘A final flourish from the desert: During his all too-brief writing career – he died suddenly in May at the age of 45 – Paul Sussman must have become wearily familiar with people describing him as the ‘thinking person’s Dan Brown’… There are, however, key differences. Sussman was a far better writer. An elegant stylist, he drew a sharp pen-portrait and had an impressive grounding in archaeology: he discovered the only piece of pharaonic jewellery to be unearthed in the Valley of the Kings since Tutankhamun’s tomb was found in 1922. The Labyrinth of Osiris reunites Sussman’s two policemen: Detective Arieh Ben-Roi of the Jerusalem Police and Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor Police. When an investigative journalist is found dead in Jerusalem, Ben-Roi is assigned to investigate. At the same time, Khalifa tries to discover why wells in the desert east in Luxor have been poisoned. Sussman draws the two strands together while embracing a vast array of themes including cyber-terrorism, sex trafficking and high-level corruption. In other hands, this could have been a recipe for a dog’s dinner, but Sussman know how to keep a complex plot bowling along while constantly racheting up the tension. He also writes unusually well about Egypt. In the light of Sussman’s death, The Labyrinth of Osiris is a very poignant book. Intimations of mortality are never far away. Grief-stricken after the death of his son, Khalifa is lost in his own personal labyrinth, and struggling to find a reason to carry on living… this is a top-drawer popular fiction and is sure to become an even bigger bestseller than Sussman’s three other novels. The great sadness, of course, is that there won’t be any more.’ John Preston, Mail on Sunday

‘Sussman… was eagerly anticipating its publication because he rated this the best of his books… He was right. The Labyrinth Of Osiris is an absolutely top-notch thriller – captivating, intelligent and notably well-written, and with a depth of characterisation which most thrillers don’t usually even attempt…

Sussman’s plotting is terrific, as is the confidence with which he allows his story with its richly detailed contexts and characters time to develop. Ben-Roi’s approaching fatherhood, Khalifa’s enduring grief for his dead son, the fraught atmosphere of Jerusalem and the enduring chaos and corruption of Egypt post President Mabarak.

To date, Sussman’s thrillers, all starring Yusuf Khalifa, have been translated into 33 languages and sold over two million copies worldwide. This, his final book, deserves to be even more successful.’ Harry Ritchie, The Daily Mail

‘In a relatively short period of time, Paul Sussman has established himself as a reliably masterful thriller author, presenting hefty novels of consequential depth that juggle a number of riveting plot threads without losing track of any of them. With his fourth and best novel to date, Sussman should take his place on the must-read lists of those who value plot and characterization in equal measure… Come to THE LABYRINTH OF OSIRIS for the grand concept, but stay for the characters and remember them.’ Bookreporter


  • Transworld UK
  • Grove Atlantic USA
  • Arab Scientific Press World Arabic
  • Bertrand Brazil
  • Cappelen Damm Norway
  • Random House Mondadori World Spanish
  • Tiderne Skifter Denmark
  • Arnoldo Mondadori Italy
  • WF Howes Audio
  • Varrak Estonia
  • Nokhook Thailand
  • RAO Romania
  • Marti Turkey
  • Presses de la Cite France
  • Bertrand Editora Portugal
  • Bard Bulgaria
  • AST Russia
  • Partvonal Hungary
  • Alica Slovenia
  • Ashirwadha Publishers Sri Lanka (Sinhala)
  • WF Howes Audio
  • Mofibo – Danish audio

Material: finished copies (744pp)