The Spear

SpearThis is one odd book. It starts as one of those low-key seventies thrillers, veers into bizarre campy Bond territory, then ends with some icky supernatural nonsense that feels tacked on.

Steadman used to work for Mossad, doing wet work on former Nazis and other enemies of Israel. Now he’s a private investigator in London. Approached by an old accomplice he refuses to get involved- until his business partner ends up tortured and crucified, nailed to his front door.

Now, he does get involved, and the story wanders around aimlessly for a while, taking in diversions involving mystically controlled tanks and a hot reporter who may be working for the CIA.

Then it all wraps back to the rich, corrupt arms dealer Steadman was tasked with investigating. A long time anti-semite, his plan involves the spear of the title- the one that stabbed Jesus on Golgotha- which will be used to resurrect a high ranking Nazi (though not the obvious one).

Throw in some nastiness involving a hermaphrodite and other oddness before the rotting corpse of undead Himmler staggers around for a couple of pages. The bad guys are summarily killed off, the spear is disposed of and the grand plot foiled.

Herbert was a horror writer, but it feels like the horror and supernatural elements were crowbarred into the story. And the whole thing with the hermaphrodite is just horrible and made an already poor ending worse.

From:: Ian Pattinson Goodreads reviews


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