THE GREAT HARVARD ROBBERY by John Minahan

THE GREAT HARVARD ROBBERY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The sixth improbable adventure for ""Little John"" Rawlings, NYPD sleuth, who spends the first half of the book explaining holography and the second half reconnoitering Harvard Yard. Rawlings' case begins with the theft of the statute of St. Michael from a Hell's Kitchen school; a letter to Commissioner Reilly, a former pupil, insisting he be at the school at exactly 11:59 P.M.; and the appearance then of a giant king cobra, which at least nine sharpshooters miss--because John discovers it was a holograph, But how to explain the sound of chalk on the blackboard, an empty classroom and a slate covered in Enochian, ""the ancient language used in satanic ritual""? And the mysterious cleric in black who seems to evaporate? Sister is at a loss; ditto custodian Anthony ""J.D."" Salinger. Now assigned to cover Reilly at the 350th anniversary ceremonies of Harvard, Rawlings troops to Cambridge--where another letter sends him to Widener Library, repository of the Gutenberg Bible, worth zillions. It's there. Or it is a hologram of it'? The latter, of course, followed shortly by a note saying that if the university doesn't divest itself of South African holdings, Reilly will receive a Gutenberg page a day, soaked in blood. Who's the culprit and what are his motives? Would you believe. . . revenge for a hated childhood nickname? The story's foolish, inelegantly written, banal; but, again, Minahan's history lessons are most enjoyable.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1988
Publisher: Norton