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The Spear

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  2,332 ratings  ·  88 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. ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Pan Books (first published 1978)
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Average rating 3.56  · 
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 ·  2,332 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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A very entertaining and thrilling book. I'm giving it a well-deserved 4 stars. I was so close to giving it 5 stars, but the slow start and the slow development of characters let it down a little bit. It took a little while before I became invested in the story, but once you went past the halfway point, the action was non-stop.

Overall, though, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and its slow rising tension. By the end, the characters were well developed and thought-out. The concept of the plot was
Leo .
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hunt for the spear that killed Christ. The Spear Of Destiny. The SS and the Nazi obsession with ancient relics. Indiana Jones came a lot later than this book. James Herbert pulls back the veil on the esoteric past. The Nazis did scour the world for knowledge and power just like in the Raiders Of The Lost Arc movies. This book is really good. If one truly believes that Himmler was trying to gain occultic influence during the war one will probably see this horror book as even scarier than if it ...more
Ashley Brown
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Stephen McQuiggan
A fanatical arms dealer is intent on resurrecting Himmler using the spear that pierced Christ's side; he will then lead a new world order and purify the human race. Given that said arms dealer - Edward Gant - has no nose, it is unlikely he will smell the strong aroma of bullshit wafting from this idea. We are treated to a beautiful hermaphrodite, a rather excellent first meeting with Himmler's corpse, a bizarre crucifixion scene, and a couple of disturbing flashbacks to the war. As usual, the ...more
May 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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).
Jul 19, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lynne - The Book Squirrel
Just a couple of James Herbert's novels left to read
Dark Recesses
THE SPEAR by James Herbert
Review by Nickolas Cook

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
Alexander Draganov
Far from the best by James Herbert. Banal plot, slow moving and low tension book. Some good creepy descriptions elevate it to two stars, but I can't give more
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 - ...more
May 30, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not particularly engaging read, and I usually really enjoy Herbert's books. It started off quite well but soon became slow and an effort. However the one star is for the very dated and offensive language, namely the calling of the "hermaphrodite" woman a "freak" and a "creature", let alone the oversexualisation of all the women making me cringe immensely.
Rick Samps
While the premise seems stupid, it does a good job at sucking you in. Only at the last stages does it falter, wrapping up with generic action, and a pathetic final faceoff with one real life character.
Shirley Revill
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, scary, fiction
I read this book some time ago and I enjoyed every word that was written in the book.
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
Pasi Rahko
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-fantasy
Powerful occultist neo-Nazis society has sinister plans to revival of Nazi Germany and unite all the radical right-wing political parties under swastika flag in Europa. The very secret inner circle of this group is attempting to contact the evil spirit of Heinrich Himmler, none other than the Reichsführer-SS himself, one of Hitler's most loyal men and incarnation of evil. This ghoulish abomination should then aid and lead them to conquer first the Europe and then the whole world. Herbert's ...more
This was a slightly different novel to the others I have read by Herbert. This is more of a spy mystery and less of a supernatural tale, although it does have a little in it. I wasn't sure I'd like it at first but it soon got my interest. It is quite dated now but I would imagine at the time it was before its time. At times it was very predictable but was an entertaining read none the less.
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
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.
Feb 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, ghost, stories
grubby little horror thriller - passes a day or so
Rhona Crawford
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Readable and gripping. Herbert has the habit of lingering on his favourite scenes, but I appreciate the flashbacks and the "getting into the other character's head" narrative
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!
Phil Hodgkiss
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable -sadly the last of his books I had left to read :(
Mark Farbrother
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is the 1st James Herbert book I picked up, dark
Scott Weatherly
Interesting concept but not enough plot / story to fill it out. One of Herbert's second tier books.
Gaz Bennett
James Herbert does it again....didn't think I would enjoy this one as much as the others I have read but it had me gripped from the start.
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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 19 novels have sold more than 42 million
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