THE TENTH CRUSADE by Christopher Hyde


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Even more clichÉd, predictable, and farfetched than Hyde's The Icarus Seal (1982): a thriller about an evil, right-wing, Fundamentalist-cult conspiracy to take over the US. Soho photographer Philip Kirkland gets a surprise visit from his old-flame Heather, who's odd in dress and manner. . . and who disappears after their one night of recaptured passion. Has she been kidnapped? Philip thinks she has. So he traces Heather's recent movements, connecting her to a Fundamentalist sect called the Tenth Crusade; he sneaks around a Crusade monastery in upstate N.Y.--where he teams up with Sarah Logan, who's determined to avenge her father, a pro-abortion Senator driven to suicide by the American Conservative Coalition for Truth (secret backers of the Tenth Crusade). Together they head for the Tenth Crusade center in Aspen, Philip posing as a cult-recruit: he's taken on a cult weekend-orientation, witnessing the Nazi-like brainwashing techniques (and discovering an arsenal). Meanwhile, Sarah sleuths into Crusade doings in Nevada--getting herself kidnapped, winding up in a cell along with the catatonic Heather. So finally Philip rescues both women, they hide out in San Francisco--and there's a substandard showdown/explanation with the bad guys: not only is the Fundamentalist Right into brainwashing and vigilante militarism, they're also behind the bloody terrorism that's been filling America with fear. (""A rallying point. . . Like the Reichstag fire did for Hitler."") Corny and dumb as suspense, inferior to a dozen recent books as an exposÉ--and even readers hostile to Falwell & Co. will find Hyde's Fundamentalist/Nazi equation (""Sieg Heil. . . And Jesus saves"") remarkably crude.

Pub Date: Dec. 5th, 1983
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin