THE FANATICS by Peter Hill


Email this review


Don't mistake this for an addition to Hill's sturdy, full-bodied Scotland Yard series (The Hunters, The Liars)--it's a much thinner, action-only item, shaped like a 90-minute police TV-movie. British radical terrorists (a crazy small group splintered off from the Soviet-supported underground) decide to decimate Britain's new Christian Democrat party by assassinating its two leaders. In the midst of their second kill, however, they are interrupted by the approach of quick-witted coppers--so they're holding Rev. Paul Carpenter and his born-again ex-prostitute secretary as hostages in a flat in Hampstead. The usual hostage-situation tensions--demands, threats, counter-threats, police maneuvers, advice from police psychologists--then roll by, somewhat seasoned by the stoic police commander's marital problems and the sex-cavortings of the terrorist lovers. One genuine twist: the Soviet attempt to kill the renegade terrorists. And an excessively symbolic/grisly finale: the terrorists parade the reverend as Christ on the cross, with a bomb for his crown of thorns. But really just a formula quickie delivered mostly through dialogue, clipped-British style.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Scribners