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The Spear

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  1,289 ratings  ·  39 reviews
When Steadman agreed to investigate the disappearance of a young Mossad agent, he had no idea he would be drawn into a malevolent conspiracy of neo-Nazi cultists bent on unleashing an age-old unholy power on an unsuspecting world - power rising out of a demonic relic from man's dark primal past to threaten humanity with horror from beyond any nightmare... Remember with fea...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Pan Publishing (first published 1978)
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Bandit
This was a fun read. Classic Herbert. Nazi's fascination with occult has always made for interesting stories and this one's no exception. Herbert created a pretty wild plot, but there is so much going on and it's so action packed with some genuinely freaky scenes. It is of course dated, but not distractingly so, since really it only worked that well because of the setting's chronological proximity to WWII. Equal parts action thriller and a horror novel with a strong hero fighting the good fight...more
Dark Recesses
THE SPEAR by James Herbert
Review by Nickolas Cook
05/18/06

When Herbert is on, he’s one of the best horror writers in the world. And I’m not just saying that. For anyone who’s ever read “The Rats”, “The Fog”, or “The Dark” can tell you he writes splatter horror like no one else in the business. But he has been known to write a quieter horror as well, as evidenced by such books as “The Magic Cottage” and “Fluke”. “The Spear” falls into that quieter category, as he tells the story of Harry Steadman...more
F.R.
So there I was just the other day, criticising Ian Fleming's Goldfinger for being ridiculous - and then I came across this. James Herbert's The Spear - which also includes the secret service - makes Goldfinger resemble Le Carre at his most gritty. In fact it makes Goldfinger look like the spy novel as written by Alan Stillitoe.

The plot: A London private detective is hired to track down a young Mossard agent. Following various escapades - including a crucifixion on a London street and a tank with...more
Dreadlocksmile
Back in 1978 we saw the release of James Herbert’s fifth novel to be published, entitled ‘The Spear’. Following on from the likes of ‘The Rats’, ‘The Fog, ‘The Survivor’ and ‘Fluke’, Herbert’s next publication was highly anticipated by a growing audience.

The tale follows the principal character of Harry Steadman, an ex-agent for Mossad (the national intelligence agency for Israel) who now works as one of two partners within a private enquiry agency (similar to a private investigator’s). Steadma...more
Ashley Brown
I must admit that I've only got into Herbert since he very sadly passed on earlier this year, I started by reading The Rats and enjoyed his style. I think in a way I prefer him to King as he isn't quite so anecdotal and rambling (although I am still a big king fan). After reading the rats I searched for another Herbert book to order and the synopsis that I saw for The Spear struck me and so I ordered it.

Harry Steadman is a fairly standard private detective who has been mixed up with various poli...more
Benjamin Stahl
After reading so many James Herbert novels, you tend to familiarize yourself with his style.
With this being the fifth Herbert book I've read, I'm beginning to find that things I once loved about his writing are just getting old and overused, to the point of being laughable.
Was this a bad book? No, not at all. The writing is as fluent and stylish as always, and the pacing leaves nothing for complaint. It's just that the characters, and the story itself, are so damned boring and familiar. It's h...more
Andrew
Ok this is a mixed review - confused maybe - James Herbert along with Stephen King were some of the first authors I read back at school while I was getting in to reading - and as such I have strong sense of loyalty and nostalgia for the author and his books - (along with Stephen King) and I guess to a similar extend they have both developed in their writing styles over the year - don't get me wrong I am not favouring one over the other (new verses old that is) as I have favourites with both - bu...more
Devilyn (Emily)
At first i wasn't sure i was even going to like this book, as the edition i own doesn't have a blurb and i was reading it as a recommendation from my mom, but i did like it. I was told that alot of Herberts book were chilling and that he is a highly recommended horror writer, and this book did give that impression. During the first few chapters i was slightly annoyed as i was told the book was chilling as i hadn't really found anything to back that up, but by the end of the book there was a bit...more
Scott
Didn't seem like the usual James Herbert as the supernatural element didn't really have much of an impact until pretty near the end, was more like a typical spy thriller which was quite enjoyable. Gotta love a bit of Nazism, even 70 years later it is still powerful stuff.
Nic
great read!!! highly recomend
Titus Hjelm
More of a supernatural detective story (with the odd gory moment a la Herbert) than 'horror'. Many have commented on the slow start and abrupt ending, and they're mostly right. There are slips of mediocre writing as well, with point of view changing between sentences at places. I was surprised since The Fog was pubslihed before this and was quite solid in ways which this one wasn't . Well, even Stephen King isn't always great.
Mars
Nazis research occult stuff. Our intrepid hero, Indiana Jones Harry Steadman, is... ah whatever, the plot is predictable beyond words, I've accurately foreseen each and every plot twist attempted, and this book undisputedly earns the top prize for the single most boring graphic sex scene ever written.

I'd recommend skipping this one, and just playing Wolfenstein over again (whichever version you prefer)
Vaughan Wyn
I don't normally go in for this type of genre as reading horror doesn't work for me but the vaguely historical subject matter was on a theme that interested me. Unfortunately after a promising start it degenerated into an overblown & almost comic affair. I will, however repeat that this genre is not something I'd normally read, if you're into fantasy/horror I'm sure you will love it
Blake Rivers
I say read - I read three quarters of it, and then after a ten page description of a fist fight, and a few more pages of sheer hope... I gave up. It is the only book I have ever given up on, the only book I have ever been truly bored by... and I was disappointed that I felt that way. :-\ I'm sorry James, but this was the first book I read of yours, and it 'may' be the last.
Jeremy
With its Mossad agents and antagonists' plot to exploit the political divide between left and right and bring about a 'counter-revolution', 'The Spear' is very much of its time. For all that, however, it's engaging enough and Herbert knows how to write a good chiller - which this most certainly is. Some bits made me smile, but, on the whole, it was an enjoyable read.
David
I swayed between two and three stars for Spear. The narrative is certainly well conceived if a little predictable though actions and motivations of the characters seem questionable at best, completely illogical at other times. Overall not as satisfying a read as the magic cottage but not as bad as chart throb, my last book to get two stars so it gets a three.
Rachel
Definitely not as bad as The Secret of Crickley Hall, or The Magic Cottage, but not that great either. None of the characters were likable, the surprise villain was pretty obvious, and the action was quite dull and slow-paced. But, it wasn't a bad novel for all that, it just wasn't that good.
Debra
Stephen King recommended author and book.

Book noted as "important to the genre we have been discussing" from Danse Macabre, published in 1981. Author discussed in chapter 9.
Jake Jones
Quite a juicy read, with just enough action, thriller and spook to keep you addicted. Not too sure how plausible the fictitious-'historical' elements are...perhaps this would spoil things for readers better read in the field of WWII.
Laura
I found this a really enjoyable book. As always James Herbert has added in just a little of a supernatural twist (just to juice things up).

I liked the historical background and content the spear had.
Andreas Strom
Not especially impressed with this one. I've enjoyed the other Herbert books I've read, but this one dragged on a bit, and the whole thing was over a bit too quick for my tastes.
Don Woods
What a top class book this is. Was surprised with the amount of factual info in the story. Very well researched too. Story was brilliant. Read this and see just how good the author is.
Elizabeth Moffat
Not one of herberts best but quite a quick and easy to read detective story with a hint of the supernatural. But hey, what was with the hermaphrodite?
Daniel Wilson
Well writing horror suspense story, a little far fetched at times but flows with the story, very easy to read with a number of excellent twist in it
Jenny Grainger
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/10062775
Dilys
Read quite a few James Herbert novels, this is not one of his best but it still serves that creepy feeling which I like in a horror story.
J.F. Penn
Some good Herbert parts to this, but is dated now. Weird to read it takes 24 hours to get a photo from Israel!
Neil Munday
interesting concept that Himmler may have lived on??
interesting that the spear of longinus still holds magic
Tanya
I was a huge James Herbert fan in the late 80's early 90's. Still have the books so must put them on my re read list.
Pat Gerber-Relf
I wasn't too sure about that one. I like James Herbert books, but I think he was running out of ideas with this one.
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James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction.

He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his nineteen novels have sold more than forty...more
More about James Herbert...
The Fog The Rats (Rats, #1) The Dark The Secret Of Crickley Hall Haunted (David Ash, #1)

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