Richard Sapir, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (390p) ISBN 978-0-525-24548-3
Sapir (The Far Arena offers a modern retelling of the quest for the Holy Grail. It's a pleasure to watch his heroine, Claire Andrews, grow from an innocent, Tennysonesque, ""castle-bound'' maiden into a self-confident woman. Her lover, NYPD detective Artie Modelstein, becomes her reluctant Percival; their part-adversary, part-ally, Captain Harry Rawson of her Majesty's Argyle Sutherlanders, is the flawed knight Lancelot. After the murder of her father and theft of his jewel-encrusted Elizabethan saltcellar, Claire decides to track and reclaim the treasures. Artie, far from embracing Claire's voracious quest, wants an easy life. Like Claire, Rawson lays claim to the missing saltcellar, whose jewels begin mysteriously appearing in New York just as a series of sadistic murders rocks the city. The novel is laced with some well-turned historical flashbacks, suspense and humor. For the most part, the Grail allegory works, but eventually it becomes, like Rawson's character, a victim of overplotting. The contrived upbeat ending is particularly disappointing, since it deprives the appealing Claire of opportunities for further development. (August 26)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-451-40076-5
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