A RAVING MONARCHIST by Julian Rathbone


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The plot twists are slightly confusing and artificially concealed, but Rathbone expends considerable charm--through his aging academic narrator Archie--while arranging that a scheme to assassinate King Juan Carlos follows Archie and his young lover Maurice as they van-tour around Spain. Unbeknownst to Archie, you see, a terrorist--is he Basque? IRA? CIA?--is blackmailing Maurice into giving him periodic bits of assistance. Maurice, apparently ""as apolitical as Julie Andrews or the Queen,"" cooperates with this mystery man. . . until he and Archie realize what this assassin is really up to; then Maurice (the ""raving monarchist"") risks his life to save the king. Eschewing a Day of the Jackal approach, Rathbone opts for vague suspensefulness and leisurely sightseeing (bullfights, fiestas, etc.) instead of mechanics and tension. He almost compensates for all his perambulation, however, with one gloriously atrocious pun: ""That's an awful lot of Basques in one exit.

Pub Date: March 13th, 1978
Publisher: St. Martin's