Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Sphinx (1999) – Max McCoy


The final Indiana Jones adventure set before the first trio of films is on the book shelf this week. It is also the shortest adventure in the series, not even breaking 200 pages, and the macguffin this time around is one created by the author, the Omega Book, though bases on things hinted at by various religions.

It also ties into Aaron’s rod, the one used by Moses, according to the Old Testament, that could perform miracles, as well as the rumor of a  chamber beneath the Sphinx that may hold untold secrets.

Rocketing along at an enjoyable pace, though without the serialized pacing that he has shown in his previous novels, McCoy keeps the story moving along as Indy globe-trots from China, through India before ending up in Egypt with his friend Sallah.

Indy is accompanied on his adventure by a mother and daughter, magicians and escape artists both, as they search for the missing member of their family.  They are pursued by a terrifying Japanese officer who now has a personal grudge against the archaeologist.


There are a couple of things I didn’t care for in this story, the intimation that Indy’s work was more grave robber than respected scientist, and while he has on a couple of occasions done things that may not meet with the Antiquities acts, according to these canon novels a large percentage of them were done in service tom something greater, so that can’t really be held against him.

There are nods to things we know are going to happen to him in the future, and also lines of dialogue which reveal why certain things aren’t mentioned again.

McCoy has shown with his previous tales that he has a fairly solid handle on the character, so this one comes across as a little disappointing in regard to its length, and the fact that the macguffin is barely spoken of, and isn’t based on a biblical or mythological artifact.

And honestly, we know there is a chamber beneath the front paw of the Sphinx, so it would have been more enjoyable for me, if Indy had been involved in researching it, discovering it, and that its contents were a little more than what was found.

Still, a fairly enjoyable adventure for our hero, and the next original novel, the last (currently) is set after the events of The Last Crusade, and before Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

So join the man in the hat (and me) when I read… Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead!!



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