Spear of Destiny

Leo Rutman, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (280p) ISBN 978-1-55611-084-9
Readers may balk at yet another book about Nazi attempts to obtain the legendary ""Spear of Destiny,'' the lance used by a Roman centurion to stab Jesus. They certainly will balk at a book as sloppily written, highly unlikely and pretentious as this one. Sam Siegel, ex-football star (Columbia, '31) and idealistic aviator flying for the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War, is shot down and captured by the Fascists in 1938. He's tortured and addicted to morphine by a Nazi officer (and former Princeton tailback). The Nazis want him to help recover the Spear``intricately tied to the destiny of Germany''which was stolen from the Hofburg Museum in Vienna by three of Sam's Columbia classmates, two of whom have since been murdered. Sam escapes and in the summer of 1939 is playing trumpet in New York jazz clubs. A series of gorgeous women and mobsters and Nazis try to get Sam to find the Spear. Some sex, much drinking, many football flashbacks and a lot of violence occur, all quite unbelievably. Fatuous philosophizing and weltschmerz are matched by bad ``Runyonesque'' dialogue: ``Dat's life in the undawoild.'' Sometimes it's funny: ``He . . . grabbed the towel and quickly mopped his hair dry and wrapped it around him.'' Rutman also wrote 5 Good Boys. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-1-55817-232-6
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