Zubricks Rock

Robert Eringer, Author National Press Books $19.95 (210p) ISBN 978-1-882605-21-7
Incensed that the government of Monaco intends to expel him from his reclusive lair, depriving him of his refuge from American and British tax authorities, Barry Zubrick, an eccentric multimillionaire, hatches a wild scheme to take over the principality. His plan entails replacing the ruling Grimaldi family with Gerry Spinola, an alcoholic, very unprincely dentist from Hoboken, N.J., who just may be a direct descendant of the Spinola clan, which held the monarchy until unseated by the Grimaldis 700 years ago. Meanwhile, former CIA spy Alec Perry, who troubleshoots for Zubrick on a part-time basis, gets drawn into the scheme by the promise of a lucrative payoff. Though Eringer no doubt intended his novel to be a comic thriller, most of his characters come off as more caricatured than funny, especially the overdrawn Spinola, with his B-movie wiseguy dialogue and gambling debts. The purpose of the lone female character of any consequence, a lovely young translator whom Alec beds, is indicated by her disappearance from the narrative shortly after the bedroom scene until the novel's last page, where she's mentioned as Alec's ``new bride.'' Eringer waits far too long to get around to the actual coup d'etat, moreover, after which the story cuts off so abruptly, with the plot equivalent of a one-liner, that one suspects that the author ran out of paper-or ideas. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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