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Clarke Wallace.

Toronto, Seal Books, c1979, 1982.
213pp, paper, $2.95.
ISBN 0-7704-1734-5.

Grades 12 and up.
Reviewed by George Seibel.

Volume 11 Number 3.
1983 May.

The Hercules Trust is a sensational thriller that deals with stolen Nazi art treasures and international crime. The subject seems to be very popular as there are numerous similar titles on the market.

Clarke is certainly knowledgeable about international art thefts and sales, and his description of skiing in the Laurentians and the French Alps are expert. However, the book has a number of flaws. The characters are predictable and at times two-dimensional. The women are all sleek, sensual creatures in clinging jeans or the like. They are fantasies, not real people. The central character, Philip Stone, is mildly interesting, but the story-telling is uneven. There is an intriguing scene in a Colorado bar followed by a supposedly steamy sex encounter in a bathroom. Imagine a beaten man making love to an excited woman in a tub of ice cold water. It is both laughable and uncomfortable. There is a measure of suspense. The reader wonders to the last few pages how Stone will expose the Hercules Trust and survive. The twist at the end is compelling but not original. Suitable for senior high school students and adults.

George Seibel, Widdifield S. S., North Bay, ON.
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