I'll just confess right away that The Murder of King Tut: The Plot to Kill the Child King--A Nonfiction Thriller by James Patterson and Martin Dugard (2009) is my first reading of anything by James Patterson. Nope, I haven't read any of his Alex Cross novels, so I can't comment on how this book compares to anything else he has written.
I admit that subject matter was the big draw for me. I love anything to do with Ancient Egypt. One of my favorite term papers from college days was on the female pharaohs, and, at one point, I dreamed of being an archaeologist. I still read every issue of Archaeology magazine cover-to-cover.
Synopsis from Barnes & Noble.com:
A secret buried for centuries
Thrust onto Egypt's most powerful throne at the age of nine, King Tut's reign was fiercely debated from the outset. Behind the palace's veil of prosperity, bitter rivalries and jealousy flourished among the Boy King's most trusted advisors, and after only nine years, King Tut suddenly perished, his name purged from Egyptian history. To this day, his death remains shrouded in controversy.
The keys to an unsolved mystery
Enchanted by the ruler's tragic story and hoping to unlock the answers to the 3,000 year-old mystery, Howard Carter made it his life's mission to uncover the pharaoh's hidden tomb. He began his search in 1907, but encountered countless setbacks and dead-ends before he finally, uncovered the long-lost crypt.
The clues point to murder
Now, in The Murder of King Tut, James Patterson and Martin Dugard dig through stacks of evidence—X-rays, Carter's files, forensic clues, and stories told through the ages—to arrive at their own account of King Tut's life and death. The result is an exhilarating true crime tale of intrigue, passion, and betrayal that casts fresh light on the oldest mystery of all.
To this reader, the synopsis was way more interesting than the actual book. I'm not sure, with two authors, what that means in terms of which one actually wrote what. I really enjoyed the sections set in Egypt, but the sections on Carter and the modern "murder mystery investigation" didn't hold my attention.
My overall personal rating of The Murder of King Tut is a B-.